Where can I buy British made socks?
Here are the places I know of, in no particular order, where you can buy UK made socks and information about British sock makers.
Goldtop motorcyclists clothing and accessories, founded in 1951, sell made in England socks made using British wool and made in England Submariner sweaters made using Merino wool from abroad. They also sell a “Battle of Britain” Sheepskin Flying Jacket that uses British wool but they do not state where this is made. For all other products that Goldtop sell no production or country of origin information is given, so I assume their other products are all foreign made – https://www.goldtop.co.uk
W. Brewin & Company Limited (Brewin’s) have been manufacturing babies, children’s, ladies and men’s socks and tights in Leicester, England since 1931. These days their products are manufactured in both the UK and in off-shore facilities. They have manufacturing plants in China, Turkey and Portugal, as well as the UK. On their website they say “We continue to operate a UK manufacturing plant which compliments our offshore supply chain.” They also say they are “One of the largest manufacturers of; babies, children’s and adult socks in the UK”, they use “High quality Oekotex 100 approved yarns sourced from the UK and the EU, used in UK production”, and they have “In-house capabilities from design to finished product ensuring full control over all aspects of UK production facility.” No information on country of origin is given on their website against individual products so you’ll have to ask. Primarily they make for the trade and high street shops, but they also have an Amazon store selling directly to the public selling British made wool or cotton blend flight socks, red men’s socks, kilt hose, baby girl’s white socks, men’s work socks, children’s ballets socks, children’s Irish dance socks, men’s knee high socks, unisex ski or snowboarding socks (ski tubes), girl’s socks, ladies knee high socks, and baby socks. Most of their products appear to be foreign made. Search their Amazon store for Made in the UK to find their UK made socks – http://www.wbrewin.co.uk
Sub Zero Technology Ltd. manufacture thermal underwear, thermal baselayers, thermal midlayers, merino wool base layers, childrens thermal underwear, softshells, balaclavas, hats, windproof hats, gloves, socks, walking socks, ski socks, tube ski socks, fleece and waterproof Jackets in England at their Leicester factory. Not everything they sell is made in England, but mostly they do label which items are UK made on their website so you can easily find their UK made stuff. Their own brand items are usually UK made. If it does not say made in the UK then it is probably made abroad. They say on their twitter “Pioneer in outdoor clothing, Design Council ‘Millennium Product’ & multiple award-winner. Proud to say our products are Made in England”. Available at the Sub Zero online store – http://www.subzerostore.co.uk
Duffle Coats UK sell made in England duffle coats, pea coats, wax jackets, tweed sports jackets, trench coats, sweaters, beanies, scarves and sometimes leather satchels, socks and ski socks for men, women and children. They are part of Montgomery Outdoor Ltd – https://www.dufflecoatsuk.co.uk
Titus Alpacas are breeders of alpacas in Shropshire specialising in luxury alpaca socks. They say on their website “All of our alpaca Socks are made in the UK”. They also sell UK made fingerless gloves, beanies, headbands, alpaca wool and fleeces. Most items are made in the UK but I did find a made in Peru headband on their website – https://www.titusalpacas.com
Perilla sell British made alpaca socks for men, women and children. The alpaca yarn they use is imported from Peru. Founded in 2006. They also sell some other British made items such as scarves, capes, beanie hats, slippers, snoods, ear muffs, muffs, gloves, ponchos, knitwear, hats, and some bags. Some items they sell are foreign made but quite a bit is made in the UK – http://perilla.co.uk
Corrymoor Socks mohair socks are “Manufactured and knitted in the UK”. Their website carries the Made in Britain marque. They do not say who makes their socks for them. Their scarves are knitted by GH Hurt & Son in Nottingham. Their throws are made by Green Grove Weavers in the Scottish Highlands. They also have their fingerless mohair gloves made for them in Devon. They also occasionally sell Angora rugs. They do not say where their coasters, mousemats, postcards are made, so these are probably foreign made. Corrymoor have their own farm from where mohair from Angora goats is sheared to make their products, supplemented by mohair from other British breeders and mohair from South Africa – http://corrymoor.com
Samson Socks have a factory in Manchester. Established in 1981. They make football, rugby and hockey socks. Some items on their website are available retail, most trade only, and they also have an eBay shop. They say on their website “My company philosophy is quite simply, “quality football socks made in England at affordable prices, with a personal and first class service”. I am not sure if all their socks are UK made so please check before buying. No country of origin information is given against individual products on their website, although it is on their eBay shop – http://footballsocks.co.uk
I already mentioned Bison Bushcraft. Bison Bushcraft describe themselves as bushcraft and wilderness outfitters and they are keen to source stuff locally. All their men’s and women’s clothing and knives for example are made in the UK (made in the UK from UK materials). They also sell British made Spoons / Crook Knives, fire steels, knives, Strikefire Spork (yes it’s a British made spork), and pot hanging tripods. Their clothes include Guide Shirts, Forester Shirts, antler buttons, the Bush Shirt, the Zipped Bush Shirt, the Gamekeepers waistcoat, the Troyer Sweater, moleskin trousers, a Wax Cag (the splash-proof zips are also made in the UK), Bronco hats, the Merino Wool Watch Cap (a wooly hat), Merino Wool Buffs, Bison Woodland Boots, Bison Bushcraft Boots, a Bison Bushcraft Cloth Badge, and their fabulous British wool woollen socks (made by the Cambrian Woollen Mill, see below). Their service is excellent.
TenderFoot socks are British made. It says on there website “Tenderfoot Socks Made In Great Britain Since 1998. Producer of quality gent’s and ladies socks made at our own factory here in the UK. From concept through to design, development and manufacture, our products are guaranteed British-made from the start, all the way through to the finished product” and “Produced in the UK. Our products are British made, using the world finest yarns and produced using traditional sock knitting techniques”. Stockists are listed on their website and they are available online for example at Woods of Shropshire. These are cotton mix socks – https://tenderfootsocks.co.uk
Alpkit.com sell socks made in the UK – http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16436&category_id=303 – if they have them in stock (Alpkit do great outdoor kit, but most of their stuff is made abroad). I have not tried their socks.
Brasher make all their socks in the UK (but sadly not their boots). Just read that Brasher are to be no more and that the name will be dropped for the Berghaus name,whether this means the socks will no longer be made in the UK I don’t know (thanks to Dorian for the info). Both companies were already part of the Pentland Group. Additionally, whilst all Brasher boots are foreign made, it seems they currently use Pittards British leather – manufactured in the UK and that may change too – www.brasher.co.uk
Craghoppers Walking Socks, or some of them at least, are made in the UK. Craghopper do not give any country of origin information on their website. I got the socks below in Beales department store in Bedford but I can’t see them on the Craghoppers website. As far as I know very little that Craghoppers ell nowadays is British made, perhaps just these socks.
Cambrian Woollen Mill British wool woollen socks are fabulous. Medium weight (to heavy weight) I would say and plenty long enough, they are perfect for everyday wear with boots. Being 90% British wool they are as close as you can get to 100% wool and still retain some wear resistance. I got my green ones from Bison Bushcraft (see above). Based in Wales, Cambrian Mill design, weave and manufacture wool products, such as socks, purses, ties, dog coats, scarves, shawls, cushions, picnic blankets, blankets, throws, baby blankets, and Welsh tartan scarves – all made at their mill in Wales. Cambrian Woollen Mill is located just north of Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys. There is or at least was a Cambrian Mill Gift Shop & Heritage Centre and it seems at least part of the mill was up for sale during 2016. Very little information about the mill or the company is given on their website – http://www.cambrianmill.co.uk
Finisterre sell very nice UK made socks. Finisterre do great outdoor kit, but most of their products are made in Portugal. Finisterre do now sell a small selection of British made mens and ladies clothes, including occasional knitwear items (such as their Bowmont jumper), socks, corduroy trousers (made with Spanish material), denim jeans and a denim overshirt (made for them in in Blackburn at the Cookson and Clegg factory ), skirts, and shirts (made using foreign sourced fabrics; some made for them by White Hart). They now have a store in London and stores in Cornwall and Devon. Most of their products are made in Portugal still though – http://www.finisterreuk.com/
J Alex Swift make socks here in the UK – http://www.jalexswift.co.uk – you can get their socks from RAB socks or the Sock Shop for example. This picture is of a pair of men’s J. Alex Swift fawn colour 100% wool ribbed socks (handwash only; made in Gt. Britain). I ordered these socks (pictured left) from Amazon and they feel wonderful. J Alex Swift Ltd was established in 1895 in the village of Hathern in Leicestershire, England, where it remains today.
Pantherella, established in 1937, make quality English socks – http://www.pantherella.com – they are available from RAB socks or the Sock Shop for example. There is an interesting article about Pantherella here and another here. Pantherella also make socks for others, for example Richard James socks are made by Pantherella and Scott Nichol socks (see below) are made by Pantherella. HJ Hall – http://www.hjhall.com/ – have been making socks in England since 1882 and are the largest independent sock manufacturer in the UK. They own Pantherella (see above) and Scott Nichol (http://www.scott-nichol.com/). According to their website “In 2012 HJ celebrated 130 years of manufacturing, and took the bold decision to bring the majority of overseas production back to the UK” – best check then that socks from these companies really are made in the UK, but it sounds as if they will be now. HJ Hall socks are available online at various shops including http://www.hj.co.uk and in various stores. Update 2/11/16 – Renowned Hinckley sock company HJ Hall is stopping UK production after more than 130 years. All production of HJ Hall socks will now be abroad, although Pantherella socks will continue to be made in the UK. I don’t know about Scott Nichol socks, but I suggest UK production may continue in as they are currently made in England by Pantherella. The Pantherella plant in Leicester was acquired by HJ Hall in 2001. Sad news indeed about HJ Hall.
Sock Shop sell more than just socks and they highlight which of the socks, tights, gloves, scarves, hats, knitwear, and so on they sell are made in the UK on their website. Not all the products they sell are made in the UK. Look for their British made sections and for their clear British made labelling. Their British made brands include Welsh brand Corgi, Leicester brand Pantherella, Derbyshire brand John Smedley, Pretty Polly, ELLE, Aristoc, Kinky Knickers, Sealskinz, Ussen, etc.and their own brand SockShop of London – http://www.sockshop.co.uk
Pretty Polly / Aristoc ladies tights and Gossard / Berlei ladies underwear were still manufacturing some products in the UK up until May 2016. According to Wikipedia Petty Polly and Aristoc, as of 2013, were still manufacturing 90% of their products in the UK. However, Derbyshire based Courtaulds / CTC (now owned by Hong Kong company PD Enterprise Ltd), which made Pretty Polly and Aristoc tights, as well as private label lingerie, formal and casual wear, jackets and coats for UK and international stores, went into administration at the end of May 2016. Their websites still seem to be trading, but I have not heard any further updates as of 22nd July 2016 and I do not know if any UK production continues. As far as I know the staff have mostly if not all been made redundant, so I assume not. That would seem to be the last gasp of the former mighty Courtaulds. Courtaulds Brands in Derbyshire, the manufacturer of Pretty Polly tights, was owed large sums by BHS who went bankrupt in 2016. The website is still running but British production has sadly stopped.
Legwear International are manufacturers and importers of ladies tights, hold ups and stockings. Legwear International have their own UK manufacturing plant. I’m not sure how many of their products or which of their products are made in the UK, so you’ll have to ask them. Available via their website and in stores – http://www.legwearinternational.com
Draper of Glastonbury manufacture sheepskin slippers, sheepskin boots, sheepskin accessories, leather footwear, socks and knitwear for men and women in Glastonbury, England. Although they do have a factory in Glastonbury lots of the products they sell are manufactured abroad, so you will have to check with them before buying that the product you want is actually made in the UK – http://www.draper-of-glastonbury.com
Herring Shoes have a range of English made own brand shoes made for them by Barkers, Cheaney, and Loake, as well as selling shoes by other English manufacturers as well as some imported shoes. They also sell made in England slippers, including made in England velvet slippers. They also sell welsh made Corgi socks, own brand made in England socks and English made ties. Their t-shirts, luggage and belts are foreign made – http://www.herringshoes.co.uk
I’ve recently bought some Karrimor socks in TK Maxx that are made in Great Britain, although I cannot find any mention of socks on their website. The Lambretta Classic Socks in TK Maxx were also made in Great Britain.
Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd manufacture of technical socks for Walking/ Hiking, Mountaineering, Running, Skiing, and Everyday. Bridgedale socks are made in the UK – http://www.bridgedale.com – Owned by the Bollin Group.
I have just found this company on the net – http://www.rampantsporting.com – I have not tried them, but all of their socks are made in Britain. See the Rampant Sporting blog – http://www.rampantsporting.com/blog/?p=10. They make cotton socks and specialise in striped socks.
Corgi Hosiery, who are Royal Warrant holders, make socks, jumpers, scarves, hats and the like in wool, cotton and cashmere. According to their website – “Everything we sell is entirely made at our factory in Ammanford, Wales, using traditional methods.” They are part of the Dewhurst Dent Group of companies, who also own Dents gloves (which are not all made in the UK!). ”Since 1892 Corgi wool, cotton and cashmere socks and knitwear have been exclusively made at our factory in Wales, UK”. They also produce knitwear for Monkstone Knitwear – http://www.corgihosiery.co.uk
Ducker and Son, Oxford – http://www.duckerandson.co.uk – do a range of UK made socks, as well as bespoke and off-the-shelf shoes and other accessories like ties, bags and belts all made in Britain. Some of the stuff in their shop is made abroad I think. You’ll need to visit the shop really if you are interested.
Viyella socks – Viyellasocks are made in England. http://regencyshirtcompany.co.uk/index.php?route=product/category&path=61_74
Wolsey socks – Some Wolsey socks are apparently made in Leicester in the UK. You’ll have to ask your supplier which or look at the packing. Strangely, no socks are featured on their website, but it seems they are still made and you can buy them in some shops or online, for example at Richmond Socks.
Some men’s socks and shooting stockings in Cordings of Piccadilly are made in England; others are foreign made. Cordings sell quite a few British made menswear items, as well as quite a few foreign made items. All their womenswear is foreign made – http://www.cordings.co.uk
Marko John’s – http://marko-johns.com – socks are made in England by a hosiery specialist who has been making British socks since 1895. Marko John’s even sell bespoke wedding socks! Their socks are all cotton socks, mostly of the shorter length and are usually striped or bright colours. Available in one size (8-11 mens; 4-7 ladies). Marko John’s are based in Oxford and they also sell special Oxford University socks for various Oxford colleges. Free postage in the UK and only £5 to post worldwide. I am pleased to read that all their packaging is manufactured and printed in England too.
Oxford Socks are manufactured in England using British yarns. Cotton socks. Not sure who makes them but they look nice.
Smart Turnout sell a range of military, university and old school cotton coloured socks that are made for them in England.
Sir Plus sell made in England socks – http://www.sirplus.co.uk/products/socks,4739016.
Universal Works sell a range of made in England socks in cotton, cotton mixes and wool mixes.
Turnbull and Asser socks are made in the UK – http://store.turnbullandasser.co.uk/Socks/Woollen_Sports_Socks/Merino_Wool_Sport_Sock_in_Navy.html
Woolyknit sell British Wool socks – http://www.woolyknit.com/accessories-hats-scarves-and-gloves-10-c.asp
Richard James Savile Row socks are (all?) made in England.
Burrows cotton socks are all made in England – http://www.tburrows.co.uk
Cuffs and Co have a great range of British made novelty cufflinks, classic cufflinks and wedding cufflinks. They say on their website “We take pride in the quality of our cufflinks, which is why all the metal cufflinks we sell are all entirely British Made. Some others claim to make their cufflinks in Britain, but often you will find components like the clasps are made overseas. Ours are 100% British!”. They have a shop in the Shambles in York. They also sell Minster watches (which are assembled in the UK), British made cotton mix socks, Kent shaving products and combs (these all seem to be foreign made Kent products, except for one brush), some British made collar stiffeners (most of their collar stiffeners are foreign made though by the looks of it), British made braces, foreign made umbrellas, what I assume are foreign made chefs buttons, foreign made bags and brief cases, and what I assume are foreign made armbands – http://www.cuffsandco.co.uk
Sealskinz – All their socks, except the liner socks, are made in England. Their Ultragrip Gloves also are all made in England. Unfortunately their other products are foreign made. On their website they state “We are extremely proud to manufacture over 50% of all our product range by hand in the UK, with factory, warehouse and office facilities in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.” That’s great but bear in mind their other products are foreign made, for example my Sealskinz waterproof Belgian Style Cycling Cap is made in China – http://www.sealskinz.com/UK/
Murdock London sell made in England socks.
Johnstons of Elgin make their socks in the UK, in Scotland (using mostly imported raw materials); and as far as I know all their other products are UK made too – http://www.johnstonscashmere.com/retail/
House of Cheviot country and kilt socks for men and women appear from their website to be made in the UK, but please check before buying. Their website is trade only but lists stockists – http://www.houseofcheviot.com
The Sock Mine and Roy’s Boys Socks by Roy Lowe and Sons – All the socks sold under the brands the Sock Mine and Roy’s Boys are manufactured in Sutton in Ashfield , Nottinghamshire, England. Roy Lowe’s is also a distributor of socks at a lower price point to the major high st chains and sources those socks worldwide. The Sock Mine make technical socks for both men and women for running, cycling, hiking, skiing or snowboarding and under their Roy’s Boys brand they manufacture colourful mens fashion socks. It’s great to see that Roy Lowe and Sons are bringing some production back to the UK. Their twitter tagline says “British technical & high performance sock manufacturer. Designed & manufactured in Nottinghamshire. Proud to be #MadeInTheUK”
The Eagle Sock Company is a British sock manufacturer. They are the retail arm of All Sox Ltd (trade only) which is a well established manufacturer, who also trade under the names Sole Provider and Turner and Sons.
Sock and Trotter socks are made in the British Isles according to their website, but I have yet to determine where in the British Isles. On their pinterest site it says they are British made and the company are based in England. Worth checking as these socks may well be made in England, but you will want to ask where they are made before buying – http://www.sockandtrotter.com
Sock Club London sell socks that are made in Britain by Pantherella and Corgi, as well as Fox made in England Umbrellas and Globetrotter made in England luggage. They also sell some foreign made products. This appears to be a membership sock buying club – http://www.sockclublondon.com
All Tejay socks are manufactured in the UK. Minimum order quantity is 25. Tejay Sportswear is a leading manufacturers of football, rugby and hockey socks, and supplies socks to a host of household name kit suppliers and clubs. They do not sell to the general public. – http://www.tejay.co.uk
Beaufort & Blake sell British made cotton casual mid-calf length stripy socks (all the socks were sold out when I looked in August 2015), plus British made bow ties, braces, and dress studs. Their shirts and boxer shorts are foreign made – http://www.beaufortandblake.com
Billy Ruffian (Tusting and Twyman Ltd) sell some English made stripy cotton and nylon mix socks. I would like to say that their shoes are made in England too. Their website strongly suggests they are but does not actually say so, which in my experience is very suspicious. I will write to ask them where their shoes are made – https://www.billyruffianshoes.co.uk
John Arbon Textiles, based in Devon, England make and sell British-made socks for men, women and children. They also sell yarns. Fibre and yarn is produced at their sister company Fibre Harvest where it is processed and spun in their Mill based within Coldharbour Mill. John Arbon Textiles socks are unisex and are made from various percentages of wool, alpaca and nylon. They also sell cotton socks. For example, their Shetland wool socks (shown in the first picture below) are 90% wool and their traditional Icelandic patterned merino wool socks are 100% wool. John Arbon also sell tea and egg cosies, rugs, scarves and knitted ties, as well as yarns, yarns from Falkland Islands Merino, 100% British Wool, alpaca yarns and fibre tops. They have a shop in Lynton. You can also visit Coldharbour Mill. All John Arbon textiles and yarns are made in Britain. I love this company’s philosophy and customer service and I have some of their fabulous British wool socks – http://www.jarbon.com – http://www.fibreharvest.co.uk – http://www.coldharbourmill.org.uk
Evercreatures wellie socks seem to all be made in the UK. I don’t know much about this company or any of their other products because their website does not work (as of 5/6/16; assuming I have the right website for them). I saw these socks for sale on the Good to be Outdoors website. I assume Evercreatures wellington boots are foreign made – http://www.evercreatures.co.uk
“ELITEWEAR High Performance Socks F.J.B. Established 1886 Made in the UK” – I have seen some of the Elitewear socks pictured below on eBay which say on them that they are made in the UK, but I can’t find any other information about who makes them or if the company are still going. From the second picture below I suspect they were made by F.J. Bamkin & Son Ltd of Hucknall, Nottingham. F.J. Bamkin & Son Ltd went bankrupt in 2013. Also see Pennine socks below who appear to be connected to this company. The F.J. Bamkin & Son website, http://www.pennine-bamkin.co.uk no longer works. Their socks can still be found on eBay, as of September 2017.
Pennine socks (Coxwear (UK) Ltd), established in 1850, appear to be made in England still, although it does not really explicitly state this on their website, it does say “Made from the world’s finest yarns in the heart of England” and on eBay I found pictures of Pennine socks where they say “Made in England” on the packaging (see picture below). Trade only. Pennine socks of Basford, Nottingham appear to be connected with former company F.J. Bamkin & Son Ltd of Hucknall, Nottingham who went bankrupt in 2013. James William Cox is a director of Pennine socks and was a director at F.J. Bamkin & Son. Additionally Sarah Bamkin was the founder of F.J. Bamkin & Son according to this article about their bankruptcy in 2013 and is shown on the Pennine socks ‘our story‘ page as the founder of Pennine socks and both claim to have made socks for the military. The founding dates of both companies is similar although 6 years different – http://www.penninesocks.com
If you are buying British made wool socks, then if it is wool from British sheep all the better.
Does anyone know of any other British made socks?
British made socks – Socks made in the UK – UK made socks – Socks made in Great Britain – British socks – English socks – Socks made in England – British made hosiery.