One company is on a mission to help the homeless, one pair of socks at a time. And now Bombas, the brand that donates one pair of socks for every pair it sells, has partnered with Gap to expand its reach even further.
Socks are the most-requested item at homeless shelters, founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg explained to TODAY. Heath told a story about offering a man in New York City's Madison Square Park a pair: "He's like, 'How did you know that I needed socks?'" Heath said. "And he took his shoes off and both his feet were wrapped in plastic bags."
Heath and Goldberg founded Bombas in 2013 and the company follows the buy-one-give-one model, popularized by brands like Toms. But the socks it donates are slightly different than the ones it sells.
"Our donation sock is treated with antimicrobial treatment, which helps prevent the growth of fungus, because they don't have the luxury of washing their socks on a regular basis," Heath said. "We reinforced all the seams. That provides greater durability so they last a lot longer. And we also used darker colors to help minimize visible wear."
The brand, whose name comes from the Latin word for bumblebee, stands by the motto "bee better" by working with different charities and organizations to distribute the socks.
Bombas aims to donate up to 1 million pairs of socks through the partnership with Gap.
"We're creating a company that we love to work at, a product that we really believe in," Goldberg said. "So it just makes coming to work every day a joy."