We’d come across bamboo being used as a fabric for beautiful baby clothes and yoga outfits, but could only find bamboo socks in relatively plain styles. We also knew that bamboo had great properties for making socks out of: it’s super soft, yet durable, and is also naturally antibacterial.
So the next step, naturally, was “Let’s make bamboo socks in not-boring designs”.
We wanted to understand the bamboo fabric process, and see how it all took shape, and the only way to do this was to get to the source. So after numerous cold calls to bamboo suppliers in China, we found ourselves getting off an overnight train from Shanghai, in a place called Longnan. It’s really, really far away from anywhere that we’d heard of before; certainly we very quickly gave up hope of finding a flat white. It was also an incredibly beautiful corner of China, and a very friendly place to be.
After a day of reviewing the bamboo weaving process at the factory in Longnan, meeting the factory owners, and hearing about bamboo cultivation, we found ourselves in an orange grove that belonged to the mother of one of the bamboo workers. They gave us tea, introduced us to their grandmother and showed us their 600 chickens, roaming the farm. The factory owner did some impressions of a chicken (we don’t know why… some things remained lost in translation) and handed us a bag of 18 oranges. We were confused, but also very happy; as it turns out, China has a wonderful balance of beautiful and bonkers.
We left the factory, and their great hospitality, and headed for a hotel to get some rest before getting another overnight train a few hours later. On the way to the hotel, a random hawker handed us a business card for local plumbers. Again, I’m not sure why he gave it to us – two western women – and more confusingly, I’m not sure why we took it.
We got to the hotel, exhausted but happy, and threw the card on the table. In need of a spare plastic bag, we emptied the oranges onto the table as well. The two hours between checking in at the hotel and leaving for our next overnight train flew by, and we rushed out the door of our room.
As we approached the reception desk to check out, there was a realisation that we’d left 18 oranges and a business card for a plumber. Furthermore, we were two western women who’d stayed for only two hours, and were leaving at 8pm. Trying to explain in pidgin Chinese, the best we could muster was “we’re so sorry about the oranges. And the plumber. Please forgive us”.
Leaving behind some confused faces, we departed the hotel, boarded the train, and knew that Moch Socks was going to be a real thing.
Designed in the UK, and made from bamboo sourced in China, Moch Socks offer 18 originalstyles in two sizes.
Available at: www.mochsocks.com, our socks are priced at £8 and we have an introductory offer of 50% off all orders, when code MOCH50 is used at checkout.