Orphan socks: when brands come to the rescue of this daily puzzle – 06/04/2022 at 07:00

(Photo credits: Unsplash – Nick Page)

Inspired by these mysterious losses that scientists have managed to quantify and explain, they decided to propose solutions.

It’s a wanted message that should be plastered on every washing machine in the world. A strange disappearance, worthy of the greatest science fiction scenarios, films or detective novels. However, this is not about an investigation that can be entrusted to Sherlock Holmes, but about all those who do their laundry and are confronted with the mysterious disappearance of one of their socks. This little scourge of everyday life, anecdotal at first glance, has also been the subject of scientific studies. The brands have smelled the vein and now offer solutions to fight against “orphan socks”.


Socks: we take the lead

Original initiatives to always find your socks

In France, many entrepreneurs have decided to tackle this”


“. This is the case, for example, with the

FT House

, a brand founded in 2016 by two brothers from Lyon, Foucaud and Théophile Magon-Pujo. †

We actually had the idea

admits Theophile. †

We come from a large family and the laundry basket was often synonymous with losing socks. So we wanted to find an innovative system to find them every time.

“After developing a first prototype that connects the two socks with a wooden knot, the two brothers seem to have found the solution: attach the two”


» using a small magnet. †

Once we found the right closure, we had to do a lot of work around the strength of the magnet: if it’s too strong it can damage the drum and if it’s not strong enough, the socks come off

“. An innovative way to get rid of evaporating socks.


What about the nice sock?

Others, on the other hand, prefer to take the mismatched socks and play with them to create a real style. This is the choice of French brands

Just more of the same


Mr Lucette

who have decided to market socks… separately. To put an end to the many socks thrown away because they couldn’t find their trusty sidekick, these two brands have therefore bet on new models that ”

cause a revolution

» fashion at your feet. Others, like

Sock Socket

many mornings


sock bar

outright sell mismatched pairs of socks. In any case, all these initiatives, by avoiding the loss of socks, are fully in line with an ecological approach. †

No longer losing your socks and therefore not always buying new ones is the best way to be green

” specifies Théophile Magon-Pujo, in reference to a highly polluting textile industry.

84 million socks lost every month in the UK

But how do you explain the disappearance of one of our socks during a wash? Two British researchers – the statistician Geoff Ellis and the psychologist Simon Moore – therefore conducted an extensive study in April 2016 to solve this problem.

fundamental problem.

The conclusions of the study are instructive. According to them, an Englishman would lose 1,264 socks throughout his life, while 84 million are lost every month across the country. Financially that would be £2528 [2969,9€] in his life to buy new socks. According to the same study, several factors can explain and promote this phenomenon: the number of washes per week, the number of people living in the household or even the relationship a person has with washing these clothes. For example, if you live alone and you pay extra attention to washing your clothes, you are 73 times less likely to lose your socks than someone who lives in a large family. It should be noted that the conclusions obtained in the UK can be considered representative of countries such as France due to their relatively similar demographics and wealth level.


Moccasins with or without socks

It remains to be seen where the famous socks go. Aside from those that fall behind furniture or blow away in the wind when lying down, most get caught between the seal and the drum of the machine, the study concludes. So the mystery is partly solved.

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