In 1928 the innkeeper and sales representative Franz Kloppenborg senior founded a stocking factory in Laer near Münster. The first machines were in the ballroom of the Inn, which was rarely used at the time.
In the beginning, the company created solid-coloured socks and then synthetic socks were made in the eighties, after that the company introduced a natural fibre collection that has grown steadily since then.
Hirsch Natur is a founding member of Naturtextil eV (AKN) and the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry (IVN), they were part of the team that shaped and developed the natural textile market in europe.
Hirsch Natur creates socks using modern mechanical electronic stocking machines and yet, there is still a lot of work done by hand. The mechanical stocking knitting machines are driven by electric motors and use a fair amount of electricity, therefore, Hirsch Nature has built solar panels on the roof of the company which has generated half of their electricity needs since 2009. They are expanding and will soon be able to cover 100% of their needs with clean solar energy. The production waste and the packaging material for our yarns are completely recycled by partner companies in nearby Emsdetten.
All of the socks are pre-washed so that they are extra clean and fluffy soft. This also reduces the shrinkage process in subsequent washes. We take special care to use as little water as possible.
No detergents are used, just plain water.
SUSTAINABILITY IS KEY FOR HIRSCH NATUR
All of the raw materials are sourced from organic farms as Hirsch Nature always works with high-quality materials.
USING NEW WOOL FROM CONTROLLED ORGANIC ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Virgin wool is the perfect fibre for clothing, it seems that nature created it exclusively for this task. Like our hair, it is a protein fibre and is particularly kind to the skin. Wool can absorb a lot of moisture without feeling wet (up to 1/3 of the dry weight!). On the surface of the wool, there are fine flakes that form felt-like, voluminous structures with neighbouring fibres. This results in air-filled cavities that are very good at insulating and buffering moisture.
When wool comes into contact with sweat, an acidic environment develops. This inhibits the development of bacteria and fungi. On the other hand, this acidic environment tightens and firms the skin, so you won't get blisters so easily while running. There is a secret to wool, you should only wear wool socks for one day at a time and then allow them to air for two days before wearing them again - then wear them again. Due to the natural cleaning properties of wool, you only have to wash it after many weeks of wearing them. Since most detergents are alkaline and neutralize the cleaning effect of wool just described, you should wash them with al wool wash and preferably by hand.
Hirsch Natur uses combed new wool that comes from controlled organic animal husbandry in Patagonia. Unlike Australia and New Zealand, the climate suits sheep. As Patagonia has frost parasites don't tend to infect the sheep. So cruel treatments like mulesing are unnecessary from the outset. Those who keep sheep ecologically have a special attitude towards their animals and their work. Organic farmers rely on species-appropriate and healthy husbandry methods instead of maximum yields. The increased workload is accepted in favour of the animals and better wool quality.
Only organic feed is used, artificial additives are not allowed. Neither do preventive pesticide treatments, of course.
HIRSCH NATURE SOCK SIZING CHART
Hirsch Nature Socks are sized similarly to European Shoe Sizes. Below is a chart that compares their sizes to our North American shoe sizes. The socks are sized to span a few sizes for example size 21-22. Many people have slightly different right and left foot lengths. Please use the measurement of the larger foot. Note that Hirsch Natur socks fit generously, size down if you would like the sock to fit snugly.