Not everyone is disappointed by socks on Christmas. For homeless people living on the streets, a fresh pair of socks can mean all the difference between healthy feet and infections, blisters, or frostbite. Charles Mark & Sons, for one, wants the oft-maligned coverup to be the gift that keeps on giving. Fresh off a successful crowd-funding campaign, the Texas startup aims to create high-quality, stylish men’s socks that benefit those in need. Cribbing a page from TOMS’ playbook, for every pair of socks you buy, Charles Mark & Sons will donate another to The Joy of Sox, a charity that distributes clean socks to homeless shelters across the country.
John McClellan, Eliot Cotton, and Josh Pollick, the company’s founders, didn’t have to look far to find namesakes for their new business. Their fathers—Charles, Charles, and Mark—were the obvious choice. “Each of these men has made a positive impact on our lives and has instilled in us a drive towards philanthropy,” the founders say. “Our vision is to establish a brand that is worthy of their names: creating great products and helping those less fortunate.”
The company is named after the founders’ fathers: Charles, Charles, and Mark.
Charles Mark & Sons, they say, seeks to create “bold, classic, and versatile” designs that are at once clean and modern. The company’s first line certainly lives up to that promise, featuring blue “tips” (cuffs, heels, and toes), plus stripes or polka dots in a variety of color combinations.
After spending countless hours experimenting with different fabric blends and sock structures, the trio settled on a mix of mercerized cotton, polyester, and spandex, which they describe as the “perfect balance” between durability and comfort. “Our socks extend above the calf, ensuring a snug fit, and are reinforced at the toe and heel for added support and improved longevity,” they add.