|| Irish Design Spotlight: Incredible Socks || Irish Design Spotlight: Incredible Socks

Set up by Irish man Marc Carey, Incredible Socks specialise in, yep you guessed it, incredible socks. However, what really sets them apart from the competition is their commitment to giving back – 50c from every sale goes to one of their charity partners so supporting them means you can both look and feel good.

By Sarah Finnan
03rd Dec 2023

Tell us about you and your business
Incredible Socks is a fun, design-driven Irish apparel brand that seeks to give customers the most comfortable sock they will ever wear while having fun through design. The business was built from a place of wanting to operate in a way that caused no harm to the planet and always gives back. Our socks are made from sustainable bamboo materials – which not only ensure an extra level of comfort but also an extra level of care for our world. We work with Focus Ireland, Jigsaw and The Bombay Teen Challenge and support them with their missions by giving back through every sale we make.  We currently have over 25 adult designs, 11 children’s designs and two sports socks. We have some exciting new products in the works for an early 2024 drop too.

Marc Carey, founder of Incredible Socks. Photo by Peter Houlihan.

What is your mission?
While we are carbon neutral and use sustainable materials, packaging and processes. my dream for Incredible Socks is to be awarded B-Corp status through our actions related to helping people, communities and the planet. I want to continue to build on our philanthropic goals and continue to make as big of an impact as possible with our charity partners. I’d love Incredible Socks to really make a positive difference to people’s lives both here in Ireland and internationally. I am so committed to these missions while at the same time growing my styles, products and lines. The ultimate high five would be to see someone take their shoes off at one of Ireland’s airports and spy a pair of Incredible Socks on a passenger’s feet!

Did you always want to work in fashion?
I knew I always wanted to do something creative and I love the process around designing socks. The more I work in and learn about the fashion industry, the more I love it. I feel people care a lot about what they wear and how their choices reflect their personality – to be part of this process and allow people to add some fun to their step is really exciting and inspires me to keep designing and developing new products.

What kind of items do you stock?
Socks! Lots of socks. Socks for him, her, they and them. Socks for adults and kids. I design Incredible Socks with fun lovers, adventure seekers, laugh-out-louders and go-getters in mind. I really want people to feel incredible wearing Incredible Socks.

What new brands or items are on your radar?
Ireland is budding with young designers, founders and entrepreneurs building their brands from the ground up. It’s really exciting. I love Irish brands like Sun Drift who create eco-friendly outdoor products. Thanks Plants is a super plant-based food brand that are constantly innovating and adding great new products. I also think Ireland should be very proud of what Gym+Coffee is doing. I feel this brand is on the cusp of being Ireland’s answer to a business like GymShark. 

Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
I approached Incredible Socks from a place of being able to scale up the business quite easily. I think that’s the beauty of an e-comm model. There are some regular operational costs but in general, with e-comm, you are in control of turning on and off marketing, product development etc. without the stress of having a brick and mortar to take care of. I kicked in quite a big personal financial investment at the beginning to get the product developed and ordered and to launch the business. It’s always scary hitting transfer when the number on the screen has a lot of zeros but I am confident it will pay off and come back to me.

Best business advice you’ve gotten
My dad always told me to have a plan. He said, even if the plan changes and no matter how many times it does, to always have one as a North Star. I read a lot of business books and listen to some great entrepreneur podcasts and one big takeaway that really resonates with me is to never give up; if you believe in your idea, lead with grit and determination and just don’t stop until your dream becomes your reality. I think every business leader, founder and entrepreneur needs to hear this.

Favorite sustainable style accounts to follow online
I love these four accounts for sustainable style inspiration – Fionnuala Moran is all about sustainable shopping; Jo Linehan is always sharing such good information about the fast fashion industry and trying to buy better; PJ Kirby and Tara Kumar are always finding amazing bits in charity shops. I love to see how they style them. 

Best fashion purchase
A few years ago, I bought a flatcap at Magee’s. It was an impulse purchase that has not let me down. That cap comes everywhere. It’s a solution to a cold day, wet day, bad hair day, need a haircut day, just woke up on a plane day – I don’t think I could live without it. It looks great too.

Other sustainable Irish brands you love
I think the guys at Faerly do such a great job. Begley & Bowie is also super. I love what Fresh Cuts Clothing, Grown Clothing and Mother Reusable are doing. All great, sustainable Irish brands.

Most useful learning since setting up a business
You can’t be an expert at everything. Setting up, launching and running a business involves so much expertise and the mashing together of many diverse skill sets. You can’t do it all. If the world of finance is not your strong suit, hire a bookkeeper or an accountant. If marketing and advertising are not your jam, save yourself the money and heartache and hire an expert who can drive your business forward. There are so many talented people in Ireland who can help you with your goals and mission. Surround yourself with great people and 1+1 will equal 3.

Proudest moment so far
I am so proud of Incredible Socks. When I see my socks and the logo, I get the warm fuzzies. I really love being able to give to charity partners and I love supporting their activations and initiatives with every sale. When I see that a customer has bought a pair I always say ‘Thank you, insert customer’s name’ out loud. I know people have so much choice and I am so so grateful for every customer and every purchase. Seeing feedback and people loving the products I dreamt up makes me so proud too.

I want my brand to be remembered for… always having a heart, always having fun and always leading with sustainability and giving back at the core of everything we do.

If I could dress anyone it would be… I personally love Nicky Byrne’s style. He dresses great and I feel he is really thoughtful about what he wears. I’d love to get some Incredible Socks into his collection. I also think a personality like Jennifer Zamperelli would rock Incredible Socks. She wears so many hats from mum to incredibly successful businesswoman and I definitely have many styles to keep up with her busy life and footwear needs. I’m pretty sure a pair of my Strawberry Surprise designs would be a great addition to her Dancing With The Stars Sunday night dresses and heels

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