SAIL and Smartwool recycle your socks for Earth Day Month


March 10, 2024


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Smartwool Second Cut Project

246,000 socks, or nearly 10 tons, that’s the impressive volume of textile waste kept out of landfills thanks to Smartwool and its Second Cut Project.

Recycling our worn-out clothes or the items of clothing we no longer use is a necessity. Smartwool, who creates innovative merino wool outdoor clothing, knows this well. From the outset, the brand has adopted an eco-responsible approach. Again this year, this translates into its Second Cut Project, which centers around its star product: the sock.

In honor of Earth Day month, SAIL is proud to join in by offering this program to all of its customers. During the whole month of April 2024, come and drop off your holey, lonely or worn-out socks at your SAIL store to give them a second life. Smartwool and SAIL are committed to nature. Time for eco-responsibility and industrial ecology!

In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about Smartwool’s Second Cut Project:

  1. What is the Smartwool Second Cut Project?
  2. How to recycle your socks with Smartwool’s Second Cut Project
  3. The impact of non-recycled socks and clothing
  4. Smartwool and the regenerating ZQRX merino wool
  5. FAQ

What is the Smartwool Second Cut Project?

Your old socks can bow out in a responsible manner, and that is what Smartwool and SAIL are committed to doing: favoring circularity to prevent your socks from ending up in a landfill in Quebec or at the other end of the world. SAIL is proud to launch the Second Cut program in all its stores.

Bring your Smartwool socks, but not only!

With its Second Cut Project, Smartwool is not limited to recycling only its own socks. All socks are welcome:

  • No matter the brand,
  • No matter the color,
  • No matter the material,
  • No matter the condition,
  • No matter if they are women’s socks, men’s socks or kids’ socks,
  • No matter if they come in pairs or alone.

Smartwool also has no intention of going it alone. Everyone can take action for the environment. The brand may be one of the first to facilitate circularity in sock recycling, but it certainly hopes to inspire others to follow in its steps. Smartwool intends to rally outdoor enthusiasts, brands and manufacturers alike. It thus made perfect sense for SAIL to participate.

Smartwool’s Second Cut Project: towards the creation of new products

A recycled sock sure is better than one thrown away and buried in a landfill. The material in which it’s made can indeed be reused to create new products. After collecting the socks, Smartwool hands them over to Material Return™, an organization specializing in textile recycling. The latter then transforms socks into raw materials, allowing partner brands to reduce their environmental impact. At the end of the process, other manufacturers collect the recycled material and use it to make a wide range of products. Everybody wins, including the planet.

Your recycled socks may, for instance, be used to upholster furniture or be transformed into a new tuque or pair of socks. This is circularity in motion!

How to recycle your socks with Smartwool’s Second Cut Project

SAIL commits alongside Smartwool by inviting the Second Cut Project into all its locations. During the entire month of April 2024, you will find collection boxes in each SAIL store:

  • One in the Footwear department,
  • One in the checkout area.

Drop off the socks you want to recycle between April 1st and 30, that is, all along the month of Earth Day (April 22, 2024). Remember: all socks are accepted, including those not from the brand Smartwool. Your used socks will become a part of the Second Cut circularity project and serve to make new products!

The impact of non-recycled socks and clothing

Recycling clothing we no longer use is a critical issue. The textile industry is indeed one of the most polluting in the world, and the situation keeps getting worse due in part to the rise of fast fashion.

Non-recycled clothing typically ends up in landfills, be it in Quebec, other provinces or on the other side of the globe. Textile waste flows are among the largest in the world. In the “Belle Province” alone, tens of thousands of tons of textiles are thrown away yearly, and globally only 12% of manufacturing materials are recycled. Smartwool has made a commitment at its own scale by setting the goal of achieving total circularity by 2030.

Now is the time to contribute. As a key player in the outdoor industry, SAIL fully supports Smartwool’s initiative and is inviting the Second Cut Project into all its stores during Earth Day month. In April 2024, bring us all your used-up socks!

Smartwool and the regenerating ZQRX merino wool

Merino sheep

Smartwool makes merino wool socks and high-performance breathable outdoor clothing. The brand’s manufacturing standards are directed toward creating products of the utmost quality. That being said, the wool they use and their partners along the supply chain also contribute to reaching another parallel goal: making the most durable clothing for men and women. To achieve that, the brand uses a merino wool that “regenerates itself”: the ZQRX. Smartwool partnered up with the New Zealand Merino Company, which is behind the “ZQ” certification, back in 2006.

This “ZQ-certified” merino wool, used among others in the manufacture of Smartwool’s sustainable socks, is a natural, renewable and ecological material that decomposes in water and soils.

ZQ merino wool is not only a top-quality raw material, it’s also a type of wool sourced in the most durable way possible. To say that standards are high would be an understatement: animal welfare, respect for the environment and fairness for every person involved are absolute priorities. ZQRX-certified wool is responsibly sourced, which involves the quality of the living environment of Merino sheep as well as the harvesting techniques, preservation of the environment and good work conditions for the farmers.


Through its Second Cut Project, Smartwool invites outdoor enthusiasts to take action in favour of the environment. SAIL is a part of this movement: all through April 2024, each store will have collection boxes where you can drop off your ready-to-be-recycled socks.
Honour Earth Day month by giving a second life to your worn-out socks!


How to recycle used wool?

Is Smartwool an ethical brand?

Is merino wool eco-friendly?

How to recycle socks?


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