Lifestyle

Nice Laundry uses e-commerce to improve male-sock drawer relationship

You’ve read about startups infiltrating your underwear, now they are entering your sock drawer.

Nice Laundry is an e-commerce startup that sells colorful designer mens socks. The company attracted 283 backers after just one day on Kickstarter, which the founders said is the record for a fashion project’s first day.

Socks are often relegated to the bottom of the fashion hierarchy as mismatched afterthoughts that pants and shoes cover. However, over the past couple years, a slew of e-commerce startups like Frank & Oak, Everlane, and Bonobos have used the Internet as a way to make men more stylish with minimal effort. These companies are predicated on the belief that most men do not enjoy going shopping and don’t know what to buy when they do. They provide a curated selection of high-quality, fashionable clothing that is easily ordered and delivered.

Nice Laundry is applying the same concept to socks.

“Guys have terrible relationships with their sock drawers,” said founder Phil Moldavski. “Anyone who has shopped for socks knows it sucks. It’s time consuming, expensive, and uninspiring. We solve all of that. We make it quick, affordable, and exciting to start fresh by offering colorful designer socks in packs of 6.”

Moldavski and his cofounder, Ricky Choi, based their prototype off of a $38 sock that they “obsessed over” to create the perfect sock. The company’s designer has worked for brands including Levi’s, Polo, and Vineyard Vines, and the socks are manufactured in the same factories used by brands like J.Crew. Nice Laundry charges $39 for six pairs of socks and shipping is free. Packs are themed with titles like “exec,” “wild child,” or “dreamer,” or you can replace your whole sock drawer for $90.

Furthermore, every order comes with prepaid shipping labels so consumers can send their old socks to be recycled, reused, or repurposed.

“We’ve always been big fans of the Buy 1, Give 1 model used by Toms and Warby Parker, but felt that it lacked that direct sense of connection,” said Moldavski. “As a customer, sending your old socks back for recycling is a tangible investment in the cause. They will take on a second life, either being reused or recycled into cool things like home insulation. The U.S. generates 21 billion pounds of textile waste per year, on track to hit 35 billion pounds by 2019. We want to do our part to help get that number to zero.”

Moldavksi and Choi met while working at LivingSocial, where they came up with the idea for Nice Laundry. They left to participate in DevBootcamp and are now spreading the gospel of cost-effective designer socks. Nice Laundry is based in Washington, D.C.