Jollies Socks 

Enterprise success stories

Ed Vickers 

Ed Vickers started up Jollies Socks, which later became Jollie Goods, during his second year at the University of Exeter whilst reading biology.

Jollie Goods is a more-than-profit movement that seeks to equip Britain’s homeless with the tools they need to get back on their feet, while also enabling individuals to participate in the work of their local homeless initiative.

As Ed outlines, ‘we do this by producing fun, ethical and unique goods, and for every one sold we provide a partner product or funding to support a homeless person near you. The idea came from personal experiences of working with homeless people, and grew into a desire to find a sustainable and distinctive way to give genuine support to homeless projects all over the UK. Our first product are Jollie Socks, beautiful bright cotton socks, and for every pair you buy we donate a pair of thick, warm socks to a homeless person near you. Wear a pair, share a pair!’

Having worked as a volunteer in a homeless shelter during one summer Ed asked the head of the organisation how could he help further while being at university. The head of the shelter said one thing “we need socks!” – surprisingly new socks is one of the key areas homeless need most. Good foot hygiene is essential if you are spending your nights outside, yet the homeless population spends little of their income on clean socks as food, shelter and other life essentials tend to come first. Consequently, Ed developed a business model similar to the wear a pair, share a pair or ‘one for one’ model demonstrated by shoe company Toms. For every luxury pair of socks sold Jollies Socks would give a second pair away to a homeless person within the UK – even enabling you to pick the region. The concept was an immediate success, securing funding from the University of Exeter in early 2012, with the first sales taking place in December that year. This fantastic product, beautifully packaged and perfect for a present, flew off the shelves as soon as they were launched – we are expecting big things from Jollies Socks, including two new lines of products so watch out!

‘Since launching in December 2012 we have been able to donate over 400 pairs of socks to homeless initiatives from Exeter to Manchester. Socks are just the start and we have plans for a range of products which will follow in their clean, warm footsteps.

We believe change works from the bottom up, and that the small things make a big difference.’

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