Osage, Iowa-based hosiery manufacturer Fox River offers an innovative line of socks made from corn—more precisely, Ingeo, a fiber derived from corn and a 100% annually renewable resource.
Ingeo is the first manmade fiber that combines the best of both worlds: the performance of a synthetic fiber and the appeal of a natural material, without using fossil-fuel resources like oil. Fox River uses a nongenetically modified offset program for Ingeo, further reducing the company’s environmental footprint.
Here’s how the manufacturing process works: Simple sugars purchased from a corn wet-mill—the same ones used in colas and sweeteners—are fermented, which turns them into lactic acid. This is turned into a polymer called NatureWorks PLA, which can be processed into fibers.
“These socks are made with a renewable resource and, under compost conditions, are completely biodegradable in less than 50 days,” says company spokesperson Joel Anderson. “Even better, they do not rely on petroleum, thus helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. For Fox River, it’s just one more step on our sustainability path.”
Athletic, outdoor and casual styles are available for men and women, priced from $10 to $15.
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