Recycled sock threads

zkano recycles

Old socks can be repurposed or recycled

paper. plastic. aluminum cans. these items are top of mind when you think of waste headed for a landfill. they’re also among the most commonly recycled. but did you know that around 6 percent of landfill waste generated each year comes from textiles? This may not sound like a lot but it translates to millions of pounds of waste, most of which could be reused or recycled.

We can make a difference

we have been recycling our manufacturing waste for decades. the current overall waste here at our mill is less than 2%. Well below the industry norm, we couldn’t be more proud of our low output. however, waste doesn’t stop with manufacturing. 

textiles go out with the trash in american homes every day. maybe that’s because we don’t think of fabric as waste. with the launch of zkano recycles back in 2011, we hoped to inspire our friends and customers to reshape their view of recycling beyond what you put in your bin for weekly pick up. here’s what you can do:

Triangle green recycling symbol, beside text that says


buy only high quality, sustainable items that you truly love. you’ll wear these things more frequently and, because better quality means increased durability, you won’t have to purchase replacements as often


give your old things a new life. you can donate to charity or find ways to repurpose. as a family of sock makers, we’ve been getting creative with our leftovers for years. here are a few of our tried-and-true favorite uses:

dust rag. slip a sock on your hand, dampen with cleaner and have at it. wash and reuse. 

drink cozy. want to insulate your drink? put a sock on it. cold stays cold and hot stays hot. 

heat packs. fill a sock with rice, seal it and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. 

draft protector. in the winter, wedge stuffed socks in front of doors to keep cold air out. 

dog toy. place a tennis ball inside a sock for an added layer of chewing fun. 


old fibers can be reworked and reused. here’s where we come in.

we have the resources to take past-their-prime socks off your hands and have them recycled. send your old socks* to us at this address: 

emi-g knitting
attention: zkano recycles program
1715 airport road
ft payne, al 35968

that’s it, we’ll handle recycling from there. Your old socks will be transformed into fiber called "shoddy" that will ultimately be used for carpet padding in the automotive industry. 

it’s little steps that make a big difference as we move towards a sustainable lifestyle. our family is proud that you’re taking a few of those steps in zkano socks. 

*we’ll gladly take any of your old socks off your hands, regardless of what brand they are or what materials they are made of.

Please keep it to socks, y'all. That's all we're able to recycle at this time.

Made in America since 2009

Knit with U.S. Grown organic cotton

Family sock makers

woman and man sitting down wearing brightly colored organic cotton socks. Cute dog at the feet of the woman.woman holding a stack of brightly colored, folded organic cotton socks

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