I was just in chilly Iceland, where the weather seems to change every five minutes. My feet stayed toasty though in a new pair of merino wool socks from Teko.
The wool came from Argentine sheep, not Icelandic ones, but no matter. The key thing about these socks is that while they're high-performance and warm, this year's line is organic.
So what does that mean when we're talking about sheared sheep? Well, apparently the wool is from 20 farms in Argentina, ones which have been farming wool organically for years and have gotten all the right certifications. No pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides used on the farms, plus the sheep are grazed on large pastures with no motorized vehicles are utilized.
The bucolic image is shattered when you think about all the petroleum then needed to get these socks from South America to North America and out to the stores, but hey, most of us don't have a sheep farm and a sock maker in our town. Be advised though that to make these performance socks and not something your grandma would make, they're far from "all natural." For most versions, around 80 percent is wool and the rest is the product of man's ingenuity: lycra, polyester, and nylon.
Teko tries to use recycled materials though, plus the Boulder-based company buys wind energy credits to offset their electricity use. The key thing is, these work as well and feel as nice as any socks processed with less care and concern, so why not?
The Teko line of merino wool socks comes in several styles, colors, and heights for men and women. You can get them at local gear stores, Campmor, Zappos, or at the links below.
Teko EcoMerino Wool Light Hiking Socks at REI
Search the whole Teko line at Backcountry.com