Across the board, socks are the No. 1 most requested item among homeless people.
When Randy Goldberg and David Heath learned there was such a great need for such an accessible piece of clothing, they decided to engineer a sock that specifically suited homeless people’s needs and donate as many pairs as possible.
In 2013, Goldberg and Heath founded Bombas, a one-for-one sock company that donates a pair every time a customer makes a purchase. The line they donate though, differs from their standard brand since it has specific features that would benefit someone living on the street.
The charitable sock addresses the main issues that cause homeless people’s socks to rapidly shred.
Because they typically walk a lot and spend so much time exposed to the elements, homeless people’s socks quickly wear out. Since it’s challenging to gain access to laundry services, their socks are also often filthy.
Bombas’ charitable socks are equipped with anti-microbial treatment that prevents fungus growth, even if they’re not washed that often. They have reinforced seams, which offer greater durability and also come in dark colors, so that their wear-and-tear isn’t quite that visible, according to the company's website.
To date, the company has donated more than 275,000 socks through its charity partner, Hannah’s Socks. The group was named for a 4-year-old who became determined to help people in need keep warm after she met a cold and barefoot homeless man in Toledo, Ohio.
The charity donates warm clothing to homeless people, victims of domestic violence and underserved children, and has doled out more than half a million socks since it was founded in 2005.