Bringing quality, value and simplicity together, Form&Thread are shining the light on great basics, making lovely socks and delivering them through your letterbox.
Coming in sets of three with plans to begin a seasonal subscription service, Form and Thread have honed in on the finer details of a product in order to keep quality high and price low, an honest stance that I’m sure we can all get behind.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I once put my big toe through an expensive sock not long after I bought them. Despite what I’d paid, it was just a sock, and just like that it was redundant. Socks are essential items that are going to get a fair bit of hammer and will eventually need throwing in the bin.
So why we have become accustomed to paying 15 quid a pair I don’t know, but that could all be a fading memory now, as Form and Thread have done the hard work so we can put our feet up.
I caught up with Richard Jeal, product guy at Form and Thread, just before they brought their new concept and product to market. At the time of publishing, the site had been live little over a week, although it seems from recent instagram snaps that people have been pretty receptive to what the guys are up to.
OD: Socks are pretty a pretty essential item. Why have you chosen them in particular?
F&T: Absolutely - not only are they essential, they've become an item of clothing that people are getting excited about. Our aim is to eventually offer a seasonal subscription that covers all the basics a guy needs, so socks seemed like a great starting point. You can have some fun with these, perhaps more so than underwear for example.
OD: You're launching this week - how are things going? You must be pretty excited.
F&T: Yeah - we're pretty excited to get started. It's taken a while to get this point - finding a factory that matched our needs in terms of quality and attention to detail took a while.
OD: Give me the story of Form and Thread - where did the idea stem from, how long have you been working on the project and so on?
F&T: I guess there were two basic motivations - to take away the hassle of buying basics, which is what we hope the subscription service will achieve. And secondly, to offer a product that equals what you can pick up from high-price-point brands and high-end department stores, but deliver this at a fair price. There is so much mark-up built into the traditional wholesale model of retail which comes of the customers pocket. By striping this out, and offering a multiple product purchase, we're putting this value back into the product and able to charge the customer less. Essentially this means we're able to offer a like-for-like product which retails at around £18 per sock in a high-end department store for £8 per sock.
OD: What do you feel socks can add to a look?
F&T: I dress in relatively neutral colours, so for me I like a sock to add a pop of colour to what i'm wearing.
OD: As we head toward a time of less socks, summer, I'd like to know whether Form and Thread advocate socks and sandals? I think it's great but I don't think I'm brave enough.
F&T: I think i'm with you on this. I dig it but it's certainly not me!
OD: I see you also work with Albam, who else is involved with F&T and how are responsibilities split up?
F&T: Yeah, i've worked in the industry for a while now, previously as a Senior Buyer at COS and now at Albam, so this feels like a natural progression for me. My Co-Founder at Form and Thread is a Programmer based in New York, so the split of responsibilities is quite a straightforward one, with Chris focused on the platform, whilst I spend my time on the product and creative side.
OD: What is it about Form and Thread socks that make them, well, Form and Thread socks? Is it a blend of materials, certain colour, a certain style?
F&T: First and foremost it's quality. Our socks are made out of a small, family-run factory in Portugal renowned for it's quality, and this is reflected in the product. I think you'll also notice from our launch package we've got a balance of playful colour and neutral options. This is a characteristic we see running right through our future product offering.
OD: I know it's early days with you guys, but looking ahead to next year or beyond, what would you like to achieve?
F&T: We're just concentrating on delivering a great product and service to people. If we can do that, and people are buying into what we're doing, hopefully we can establish ourselves in a really competitive marketplace.
OD: And finally, looking at menswear in general right now, what brands and styles are you feeling?
F&T: Working on this project has made me take notice of smaller brands, and how the great ones stand out through an authentic story or product. Some of the highlights for me are Makr (a lovely US accessories brand), Tripl Stitched (who make shirts on old Japanese machinery out of London) and Outlier (a unique performance-wear brand in the US). On a personal note, i've always been a huge Our Legacy, Margaret Howell and Steven Alan fan. Brands like these that don't pander to seasonal trends, but are centred around staple shapes, styles and great fabrics.