Often times you can only find one half of the pair. When they start getting holes in them, you may throw them away. But have you taken a moment to stop and think what a pair of socks really means to someone who may not have them? Husband and wife duo Tim and Agata Scott, founders of Mitscoots Socks did. They have created a one-for-one campaign that gives away a pair for every one purchased. Not only that, it is a model that takes it one step further. Along with each pair given, it helps that person find work to help them be self sufficient, so that one day, they can pay it forward and donate a pair to someone else.
Q. Could you describe your business or brand?
Mitscoots Socks is a Social Enterprise dedicated to helping the homeless and those in need get socks and work. We are founded on our mission of Get, Give & Employ. We sell 100% American Made socks, for every pair purchased, we donate another pair to someone in need. And finally, we take pride in employing the homeless and those less fortunate. It really is pretty awesome what we’ve been able to accomplish with a little pair of socks.
Q. Where is the business or brand based?
We are proudly based out of Austin, Texas.
Q.What sets the business or brand apart?
We wanted to take the one-for-one model a little further and see how we could get to the core issues of poverty. That in mind, we didn’t stop at donations and looked into how far the idea could take us. Granted that socks are a huge issue out on the streets, but the deeper problem stems for people lacking the ability to provide for themselves. That’s why we offer a hand up and not just a hand out and are committed to hiring those less fortunate to package up each and every pair of our socks. We want to give people a pair of socks today and have them able to get their own tomorrow.
Q. When and who founded the business or brand?
My wife and I started the company a little over a year ago in September 2012 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. For years, we had been volunteering around the streets of Austin and were always shocked to see how many people were always asking for just a clean pair of socks. When I was in the military, I had learned the value of a solid pair of socks, but never realized it was such a prevalent issue on the streets. We started handing socks out of our car window with a water bottle stuffed inside and never had enough. The company was started as just a way to sustain our little giving habit and it’s grown into something awesome.
Q.What achievements is the business or brand most proud of?
To date we have been able to give away thousands of socks (roughly 5k+) and have employed dozens of people in an effort to get them off the streets. One true success happened just this past month as we witnessed our earliest employee move off the street and into his first stable home in 5 years. We all had a bit of a tear and my resolve for what we’re doing has never been stronger.
Q. Which nonprofits does the business or brand support?
We do both our donation and employee placement through a number of local and national non-profits. The goal for us is that if you buy a pair of socks in your city, we want to give one away just around the corner so you can have a local impact on the issue.
We have worked with: The Salvation Army, Back on My Feet, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, The Trinity Center, Comfort Socks, Union Gospel Mission and are always looking for more places to help give our socks away.
Q.How do these causes relate to the business or brand?
They are integrated into every aspect of our products.
- Our socks are product tested by those on the street so that they are given the best thing possible. We figure if it works for them, it’s gonna do great for everyday wear.
- Each sock is packaged by someone in-need and directly impacts their ability to earn a living wage.
- Our socks are made 100 percent in the USA, so we can make the best employment decisions all the way up the chain.
- Every pair of socks purchased means a pair for someone in need (and it does make a difference).
Q. What cause marketing products or services does the business or brand sell?
We sell socks. It’s more fun that you might think.
Q. What percentage of revenue received goes toward helping others?
Q. What annual fundraising events do you participate in?
As of yet we don’t have one. Our sustainability totally depends on a daily offering of quality products because we don’t ever want to ask for a dime. We want to earn it. That said, we would love to host a little shindig where customers can come and interact with our employees. It goes a long way to break down the stereotypes.
Q. How can people get involved with your business or brand in giving back?
Grabbing a pair of socks from our site or from one of our retail partners is a great start, but we also offer volunteer and student education opportunities. A quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can take it from there.