Strideline: A circular economy story

Case Study


Who: Strideline, making socks from plastic.


Axios Growth Consultants client, Strideline Socks was founded by two life-long friends when they were 18-years old. Over the past 12 years, the company has grown tremendously and now has a mission of “The Most Comfortable Sock on Earth”. Recently, founders Jake and Riley saw an opportunity to reduce ocean plastics by converting retrieved plastics into fabric; this fabric is coupled with 100% organic and sustainably farmed cotton. 


Today, consumers don’t have the option for a comfortable, high performance and sustainable sock. However, with the recent launch of Strideline’s sustainable sock, they will be readily available by the end of 2021, by which all of Strideline’s socks will be made from reclaimed ocean plastic. 

Additionally, Strideline is converting all of their packaging to 100% recycled material. 


Axios Growth - Circular economy socks

Cost Reduction (or maybe Profit Improvement)

The program will impact Strideline’s profit in two ways. Gaining the title of the world’s first sustainable sock combined with the world’s most comfortable sock will bring an incredible boost to brand awareness. The message around recyclability and sustainability will reach a lot more people and increase revenue. Secondly, there is no additional cost to producing this sustainable sock; as commodity prices fluctuate, this will lock-in a cost structure for the company, as there is a huge resource in recyclable materials. As commodities get scarcer in the future, supply and demand will drive previously used commodity pricing up further, giving Strideline a competitive advantage over those companies that have not adapted to a sustainable product.  

Innovative Capabilities

This is the first sock that has been mass produced using recycled ocean plastics. Although recycled polyester has been around for a while, this yarn has not been used in socks to date. Strideline spent a lot of time with their suppliers to ensure that the new yarn would be easily adapted to the current product. It was also important that comfort remained at the forefront. The new socks are as comfortable, if not more, than the previous socks. Now that the product is launched, Strideline will continue to focus on creating greater comfort while still producing their socks using sustainable methods. 

Brand Value & Reputation

The basis of the brand has been “The World’s Most Comfortable Sock”. Now the company can also claim “The World’s First Sustainable Sock”. The combination of these two messages is incredible to the brand value and the reputation of the company. The connection between their suppliers and the global response to the environmental movement not only enhances the brand, but shows accountability to the needs of the planet. 

Value to Shareholders

The value to the shareholders is immense; the product will help to drive revenue and profits far beyond their current level. The long-term value to the shareholders is even greater. As raw materials become scarcer, the supply and demand economics will drive commodity prices of virgin polymers and cotton upwards. This will give the early adopters a clear competitive advantage that will increase shareholder value even further.