The Knitty Gritty

Colorful Socks to Wear When You’re Saving the Planet

Colorful Socks to Wear When You’re Saving the Planet

The natural world holds so much beauty, but–as your sock game improves–our planet’s biodiversity declines yearly. Over 42,000 creatures from both land and sea are currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species

We at Socksmith want to help endangered species, so we’re taking matters into our own hands–well, feet. We’re excited to introduce our new Endangered Species Collection of crew socks for men and women, and they're available now!

These colorful, comfortable socks feature ten of our favorite animals, which are sadly endangered. Beyond beauty, this fashion has a purpose: 10% of the proceeds from the collection’s sales will directly benefit environmental causes in the Santa Cruz and area. The best part? You can see the impact you're having.

Read on to learn more about the collection, the threats these gorgeous creatures face, and how you can get involved and make a difference. 

Sciencey Stuff Behind Extinction

Although species extinction occurs naturally, scientists believe the current extinction rate is hundreds–or even thousands–of times greater than the past natural extinction rate. The main cause is habitat loss. Other factors leading to creatures becoming endangered or extinct include invasive species, deforestation, pollution, climate change, and the spread of new diseases within the natural environment. 

Animal species act as indicators of environmental health, and their decline may signal that something is wrong with the habitat in which they—and humans—live. In protecting threatened and endangered species, we protect ourselves and future generations, and our efforts can begin right in our backyards (even those filled with weeds).

Making an Impact

At Socksmith, we're all about giving, and over the years, we've done our best to support our community via local donations and partnerships with the Trevor Project and Beam Impact.

Now, Socksmith is thrilled to launch its new Endangered Species Collection, available today as part of one of the most significant philanthropic initiatives the company has undertaken. We're taking small steps towards a big impact, and we're so glad you're along for the ride...

For the Environment

Socksmith was born in Santa Cruz, a small beach town on California’s central coast, where most people can be found wearing socks and sandals. As coastal Californians, marine preservation is a passion for company co-owners Eric and Ellen Gil and their partner, a long-time friend and industry expert Cassandra Aaron.

The Endangered Species Collection will directly benefit environmental causes within Santa Cruz. Socksmith firmly believes in the importance of making an impact by supporting local businesses and affecting positive change within one’s community. 

We're kicking off the launch by doubling our usual donation to two entities that will share 10% of the Endangered Species Collection’s net proceeds. 

On Friday, March 31st, 2023, Socksmith will donate 20% of sales to help endangered species.

Meet our neighbors and partners in helping the environment!

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center–operated by the University of California, Santa Cruz–is a community-supported learning center giving the public a unique view into the workings of a marine research lab.

The Center’s main goal is to educate people about scientific research's role in understanding and conserving the world’s oceans. Visitors can find their inner scientists through rich experiential learning programs, including school field trips, summer youth programs, Science Sundays, volunteer opportunities, internships, and more.

The O'Neill Sea Odyssey

The O’Neill Sea Odyssey aims to provide students with “a hands-on educational experience to encourage the protection and preservation of our living sea and communities.” Their odysseys happen aboard a 65-foot sailing catamaran that was once used by Jack and Tim O’Neill as a vehicle for Jack’s hot air balloon. 

Today, the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor facility consists of a two-story, 8,500 ft² building complete with an education center that offers over 200 classes each year. The O’Neill Sea Odyssey’s school science program has served over 100,000 students through two endowments and the community's continued support.

Socksmith's Endangered Species Collection

We are super excited to share this meaningful, colorful collection featuring ten amazing, endangered creatures, from those that swim and swing to those that herd and stalk. These comfortable socks are available in men's and women's crew-length sizes, individually priced at $10/$12 (W/M).

Of the Sea

Marine life has a way of swimming into our hearts, and these animals are among our favorites.

Vaquita Dolphin

Discovered in 1958, this tiny gray porpoise is now on the verge of extinction. Vaquita is the world's rarest marine mammal; less than 20 animals remain. Most often found near land in the shallow waters of the Gulf of California, the vaquita is the smallest dolphin species, with an adult length of under five feet. 

The biggest threat to these animals is us. Vaquitas may become entangled in fishing lines, and increased illegal fishing practices have resulted in a catastrophic population decline.

Sea Otter

Besides being impossibly adorable, sea otters occupy an important place within the ocean environment. These otters are a keystone species, meaning their role within their habitat has a more significant effect than other species. 

Sea otters are top predators, and their presence is critical in maintaining the balance within their ocean, estuary, and near-shore ecosystems. Without sea otters, the population of sea urchins would skyrocket, and urchins would wreak havoc on sea floor plant life and kelp beds. Because sea otters help to maintain these plant areas, the otters also help to reduce levels of carbon dioxide and absorb greenhouse gasses.

Leatherback Turtle

These prehistoric, air-breathing reptiles have been around for 110 million years. Named for their soft, leathery shells, leatherback turtles live primarily in North American waters but rely on beaches for nesting. 90% of United States sea turtle nesting is on Florida beaches. 

As humans develop coastlines, leatherbacks have fewer nesting sites and feeding habitats available. Fishing gear entanglement, increased plastic waste, and garbage in ocean waters threaten these beautiful animals.

Of the Land

Elephants, tigers, and bears–oh my! If you’d like to honor animals that walk rather than swim, this hosiery is for you.

Snow Leopard

Snow leopards are magnificent creatures equipped to survive in some of the roughest environments on Earth. They live in rocky, high, mountainous areas in Asia and are masters of camouflage, sporting a thick gray and white coat with large black spots. These leopards live above the tree line, are reclusive, and are rarely seen; they are often called “ghost cats.” 

Environmentalists now classify these powerful cats as vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and climate change. Between 4,000-6,000 snow leopards remain in the wild.


Tigers once inhabited all of Asia, but they’ve since lost over 96% of their habitat due to human expansion. The world’s biggest cats now live in small, remote pockets of land and are often victims of poaching. Scientists believe about 5,574 tigers exist today in the wild (source).

It will be challenging to increase the tiger population; the cats are slow to reproduce, valued by hunters for their fur, and vulnerable to rising temperatures and climate change.

Asian Elephant

Outranked only by its African cousin, the Asian Elephant is the world’s second-largest land mammal. An estimated 20,000-40,000 of these majestic creatures roam parts of India and Southeast Asia in herds of related females, their female offspring, and immature males. Elephants form strong bonds with their herd mates and work together to raise their young and protect the group. 

Elephants face multiple threats, including habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching for their tusks and skin. 


Although rhinos look like dinosaurs, they are mammals just like us. The Javan, black, and Sumatran species of rhinos are on the critically endangered list, and only 30,000 animals live in the wild.

Adult rhinos have no natural predators except humans, who hunt the creatures for their horns, which are made of keratin–the same material that forms our fingernails. Habitat loss and global warming also contribute to the animals’ endangered status.

Giant Panda

Known for its bandit-like black mask and adorable black and white chubby bear body, the giant panda lives in the bamboo forests of China. Pandas are solitary animals who only interact during mating season. These bears produce the tiniest babies (weighing an average of 4 oz. at birth) of any land mammal. 

The combination of deforestation and poaching caused the giant panda’s population to fall to just over 2,060 individuals living in the mountainous habitat of the Tibetan Plateau in southwestern China. Approximately 600 other panda bears live in sanctuaries or zoos across the world.


Furry, red orangutans spend nearly all their time high above the ground in the treetops. They have mighty arms that help them to hang from branches and deftly move among the canopy in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. The orangutan lives alone and makes nests to nap during the day and sleep at night. 

The Orangutan, whose name translates to “person of the forest,” plays an essential role in seed dispersion in its environment. These animals are some of our closest relatives, sharing 97% of their DNA with humans. Due to deforestation and climate change, scientists estimate only 55,000-65,000 orangutans exist in the wild.


Gorillas are among the largest apes and are even more genetically similar to humans than orangutans. They tend to be shy, social animals who live on land in Central African rainforests. Gorillas live in groups called troops that a dominant male silverback leads. 

The only natural predators of these creatures are leopards, which may hunt young or weak gorillas. The biggest threat to the gorilla population is man. In recent decades gorilla populations decreased due to habitat loss, poaching, and disease. Currently, scientists categorize all four subspecies of gorillas as endangered species.

Making a Difference

Ready to take a walk on the wild side? We believe you’ll love the comfort, beauty, design, and hope that lie within our new Endangered Species Collection.

The folks at Socksmith take great pride in offering your customers comfortable, high-quality socks as fashionable and unique as each individual. Thank you for trusting us to deliver distinctive socks to suit just about any interest or occasion, and thank you for doing your part to make the world a better, more colorful place!

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