Details that matter - an interview with socks designer brand - Soxygen
Amidst a global pandemic, stuck in doors, with nowhere to go… socks (for what seemed as if for the first time) suddenly stood out. Bored of the same Nike crew, I was determined to transform the mundane sock into a new era of bold and sexy footwear essentials. Hence our brand slogan NEXT GEN SOX. Next Generation Sox. For the soxy-gen…eration. The mission is to produce buttery-soft products you can live in, and re-wear every day, for everybody.
When do you feel most creative?
I’m definitely not a morning person, I need at least 3 coffees to function! So, I’d align my creativity with the evenings. I let my mind race wild late at night, when I’m in the shower, lying in bed, when I’m all alone. After zoning out, I’ll always grab my phone, jot concepts down in my ‘notes’, in fear of forgetting any potential gems. On reflection, it’s predominantly nonsense but I never erase the thoughts. You never know when they might be needed.
What is your favourite part of designing process?
Product Design! Honestly, designing socks is A LOT harder than I could have ever imagined. I’ve learnt an incredible amount about the textile industry already, and we’re only just getting started! I spent over 5 months speaking to multiple manufacturers, reviewing hundreds of samples until I was certain to commit to a supplier. Due to the sock yarn, composition and stitching technicalities, digital designs are always compromised (I’m a bit of a perfectionist). Mastering bespoke tie-dye methods in-house and falling completely in love with new colourways, is therefore definitely the most experimental and exciting part of the soxygen product journey.
I also like brand design. Having completed a Pre-U Fine Art Qualification at school, I’ve always loved creating moodboards. My sketchbooks were notably collections of collages. I perceive my brand as one big, constantly evolving moodboard; it’s a mood, an energy, a lifestyle not just a product. So, in terms of brand design, my favourite part of the process would be envisioning the sync between the specific choice of text (on the product itself) with a visual mood and aesthetic environment.
How do you manufacture your products?
The knit Organic Cotton composition of the sock itself is currently manufactured abroad – this is due to the quality we seek and attainable price. These are then individually hand dyed (made bespoke to order), finished and packaged inhouse (UK). Our available marble-dyed colours are ‘AMBER’, ‘CANDY’, ‘DUSK’ and ‘CLOUD’ – I’m very much slightly obsessed with the latter. We’re constantly perfecting our dyeing processes and techniques. Each batch and every sock is totally unique for our customer, and for me, that’s what makes Soxygen products so special.
Summarise your brand in three words.
SO F*CK!NG SOXY
What do you do for fun?
Does anyone remember what fun means? For me, fun currently consists of fresh air, walking my dogs, power Pilates, watching a good documentary with my sisters, oh and downing a good bottle of wine. Now that’s fun.
Shop I Have Nothing To Wear Socks
How does a typical day in your life looks like?
I wake up early, head straight to my local post office, grab a coffee... or three… jump on social media, review content for the day / week, start my emails, admin and zoom calls. Before you know it, it’s 5:30pm, I try and TAKE A BREAK (but I’m a workaholic), before I spend the night fulfilling orders with Netflix on repeat. Then we start all over again!
How do you incorporate sustainability into your brand?
As a small business start-up, we are by NO means perfect and constantly review how we can improve our sustainability practises. Our sock composition is now 100% Organic Cotton! We purposefully have very limited stock to ensure no product goes to waste. In terms of packaging, we are strictly anti-single-use plastic and always opt for minimal packaging. Our stock arrives in cardboard and is packaged to our customers in re-usable branded zip pouches – perfect for stationary, makeup and more! As we grow, I hope to invest in more eco-friendly yarns and have our manufacturing closer to home to reduce our carbon footprint. Baby step by step, we’ll get there.
How do you want people to feel when wearing Soxygen?
First and foremost, I want people to feel comfort. Comfort is what the brand was built on, and what I spent so long perfecting. I want Soxygen to be enjoyed. I want our slogans to make people smile. I want Soxygen to be everyone’s go-to essential for everyday wear. I want every single customer to feel as good as they look. They deserve it.
What are you working on next?
We have so many ideas and directions we want to explore as a brand. Sometimes it’s important to reel in the reins, so for now… we’re sticking to our staple crew sets… with new collections, slogans and colours ready to spice up the summer. Stay tuned. You won’t want to miss these drops.