Fancy something a little bit swanky? How about socks— Swanky Socks that is.

Not only will your feet look flash and be nice and cosy — you will also help someone in need receive a pair of socks because for every pair of Swanky Socks sold another pair is given to charity.

Founder Tom Lawrence grew up in Hawke's Bay and his parents Raksha and Richard Lawrence still live in the region.

He studied in Wellington but "failed miserably at uni".


"So I backpacked around the world for two years before landing in Sydney in 2011. I tried every entrepreneur idea I could think of, however I didn't have much luck."

In 2014 he launched Swanky Socks online. "It was a hobby at first with the idea sparked over a few beers," he said.

He worked on other projects for a couple of years until he decided that it was now or never to make the project work.

"I moved into working with corporate businesses with brands such as Samsung and Uber offering deals for staff. My main drive, though, was helping charities.

"I knew that charities needed good quality products and socks are very rarely donated to the needy.

"So far we have donated more than 76,000 pairs and now we have started doing the same thing with facemasks. You buy one and we give one to charity."

One of their campaigns in collaboration with the TAB was to design a set of socks with famous race horses on them. They raised $105,000 in eight weeks for charities that look after retired race horses.

Another campaign raised $22,000 for mental health.


Tom says its been a cool spirally journey with some pivotal moments.

Although he is based in Australia and the charities benefiting from sales are also in Australia, he says in the past few weeks they have sold more than 5000 masks to New Zealanders.

"NZ has close links to Australia with many Kiwis having families here so I guess for them giving to an Australian charity is an easy decision.

"We have donated socks to some of the smaller places in New Zealand but are planning a big drive into NZ.

"It's on our radar and we will be keeping an eye on sales. I want to do as much as I can for NZ and am looking to get the right person onboard."

In the meantime he is committed to helping as many charities as possible.


"Basically we've taken an everyday essential and turned it into a powerful statement accessory with a truly inspirational purpose behind each pair. We discovered a clothing item where quality, fashion and creativity had been neglected and overlooked. Fast forward five years and we're now attracting and collaborating with the world's largest organisations.

"We are also making a difference in a lot of people's lives."

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