July 19, 2024

Creative agency Milk & Tweed leads rebrand for sustainable sock firm Hedgy in time for its expansion

SUSTAINABLE sock company Hedgy is set to expand its product range into clothing after seeing a 60 per cent sales growth over the last year.

The Gloucestershire company, founded by Tom Haines three years ago, sells environmentally friendly chemical-free bamboo socks that spread awareness of British wildlife and the countryside through 40 colourful designs featuring animals, flowers, fruit and landscapes.

It gives 10 per cent of all its profits to a local wildlife hospital, The Vale in Tewkesbury.

The sales growth has prompted Mr Haines to plan the addition of T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies made from recycled and organic clothing to his range. The move comes after a rebrand and a new website redesign by Wiltshire creative agency Milk & Tweed.

Mr Haines said: “I think the time is right to expand, rebrand and relaunch my website. I’m really happy with the sock range, the customers love them and we’ll be adding another 26 new designs over the next couple of months. We’ve had a good year but for me the next two years are all about brand awareness and then I’d like to get some retailers on board.”

The company was born after he saw a TV news item about species of hedgehog being threatened with extinction. “I’m not necessarily a wildlife enthusiast but I started to think what I could do create more awareness about the wildlife we have here in Britain,” he said.

“I was looking for a business idea anyway and I thought about a product that was low risk and colourful, something where I could be creative and came up with socks.”

A hedgehog provided the first design idea and also lent the venture a name. After sourcing samples from China and testing them on family and friends he placed his first order. “Obviously with the wildlife awareness I thought if I’m going to do it, let’s try and do it properly, the sustainability element was key,” said the 30-year-old.

“I knew that bamboo was starting to become a bit of a trend because it is sustainable. It’s fast-growing, requires little water and no pesticides, and decomposes naturally. It’s a renewable resource with a low environmental impact. It’s also very comfortable and once you try it, you won’t go back to cotton.”

At his first market he sold £400 worth of socks in three hour, which persuaded him to create more designs and launch a website. His socks now sell all over Europe, America and even further afield.

“My most popular designs online are the kingfisher and the highland cow,” he said. “But a new pigeon design is doing really well too. I’ve sold as many of those in six months as I’ve sold of some of the others in years – I was not expecting that.”

Christmas is a key time for the business but the animal theme means the socks sell all year round. “People are often identified with animals because of a nickname so we find their friends, family and colleagues enjoy buying our socks as fun presents,” said Mr Haines.

He turned to Chippenham creative agency Milk & Tweed for a rebrand, changing the company name from Hedgy Socks to Hedgy. Milk & Tweed, which specialises in website, brand and logo design and digital marketing, created a new logo with distinctive purple, lime and yellow colours and a more functional website.

Milk & Tweed Creative Director Jake Jeffries said: “I love what Hedgy stands for, Tom is a great guy  and his socks are the best I’ve ever worn.

“We have enjoyed working with him on the logo and branding and we are delighted that he is happy with it, I think it looks great. We have been supporting his marketing over the past year so we are very encouraged to see the growth in sales. With the new website and more marketing to come, together with more products to sell, it looks like an exciting future for Hedgy.”

Mr Haines said: “I built the previous website myself, which did the job, but this one is just so much more professional and smooth for the user.

“Milk & Tweed have really taken the time to understand my business and I think that what they’ve come up with, together with the help they are giving me on social media, is really going to get the name out there.”

See Hedgy’s new website and branding at wearehedgy.co.uk and discover more about Milk & Tweed’s services at milkandtweed.com.

Pictured: Hedgy founder Tom Haines, who was inspired to create his business by the plight of species of hedgehogs facing extinction, showing off some of his sustainable socks and the new branding