Hi Paire lovers, it's Nathan here.
Have you ever found a pair of socks and went 'this is perfect, I love them'? Neither did I. Not before I co-founded Paire.
So I reached out to my best friend, Rex, who happens to be a textile expert. I asked him if it was possible to make 'the perfect sock'. We dug deep into the sock game. I told him all the problems I had with socks - they don't keep me warm before my morning surfs, they fall off my heels when I run, prone to holes after a few months, smell after working out, thin and don't protect my feet from rubbing against my shoes, heat up in Summer days...... I asked Rex, "why do the problems exist" and "how can we solve them?" I mean, people are putting chips in human brains and sending drones to Mars nowadays. Why can't we solve a simple sock problem?
Rex took all my smelly sock problems to his family's dinner table. For real. It's a family of textile experts who's been in the game for over 30 years. They know the ins and outs of the latest materials, technologies and designs. They even brought my questions to their industry leading friends. And here're the answers.
Let's start from the material.
I imagined socks to be cool in Summer, warm in Winter, soft yet durable, and don't smell. All the experts we consulted ended at the same conclusion - "you should try to blend wool and cotton at a fibre level". It's theoretically possible, but no one's ever done it for socks. You can get them blended with wool and cotton threads, but not at a microfibre level.
Wool is an animal fibre, and cotton is a plant fibre. They naturally resist each other. It took Rex almost a year of trial and errors to get a result that we're all proud of - the Supreme CoolBlend© - a brand new fibre-blend with 50/50 Merino wool and organic cotton.
We can't giveaway all the secrets, but one key to success is using only fine long-fibres of Merino wool and cotton. That means we'll have to use top quality raw materials, which drives the cost up dramatically compared to any other cotton or wool product.
However, we weren't too fuss about the margin, we just wanted to bring a great product to the market. It's about time for people to enjoy the perfect sock they all deserve.
The design of the sock was an interesting one. It turns out that figuring out the reason of my sock falling wasn't that hard. Manufacturing it was.
The secret lies in a 90-degree heel design - apparently, that's how socks were made in the old times. That's the reason why the socks that your grandma might've knitted for you won't slip off. They're shaped just like your heels.
Most mass-produced socks nowadays are made with a 120-degree heel. After doing some research, we've learnt that this is the most cost efficient design to making socks. The 120-degree design has became the new industry standard because of the low cost. And all sock machines nowadays are built to make socks at this angle. We visited all the sock factories we can find in Victoria and a few interstates. None of them can make socks at a 90-degree angle. We had to look overseas and finally found a small workshop in Jiangsu, China, where they still practice this old school technique.
We've embedded many detail designs that you don't normally get in most socks.
There's a seamless toe that has to be hand-sewn, one by one. Same as the 90-degree heel design, sock machines nowadays are not built to knit seamless toes. The cost is too high. And most sock manufacturers don't think it's worth it. We do.
We've added a layer of cloud-cushioning, where the softness was made possible by the supreme CoolBlend©. There's an invisible arch support that we kept the design subtle. There's an extra padding on the heels and specific supporting points for active socks; extra wool for the extra softness in loose top socks; wave-grip design behind the heels on no-show socks; full-length padding throughout snow sport socks.
We take every type of sock as an individual product that requires full attention to detail. And we redesigned every detail.
As a result, Paire has now been loved by over 30,000 Australians with a consistent 4.9 out of 5 star review. The Dailymail and Broadsheet have both claimed Paire as 'the most comfortable socks in the world'. And we were covered by A Current Affair when we've put the socks to the ultimate stink-test.
And this is the story of how we designed the perfect Paire of socks.