SEATTLE — Want to help preserve and maintain Washington’s trails? Buy a pair of socks!
That’s the idea behind From The Ground Up, a Seattle-based outdoor brand creating performance gear. For every sale, 5% is donated to protecting trails and public lands.
Lake Stevens native Rami Nasr founded the company.
“I've always been in the outdoors and I really truly believe in the restorative powers of getting outside,” he said. "I wanted to start something that was a social cause that gave back, so our socks are essentially socks by hikers, for hikers."
They’re also built to hold up – something Nasr discovered was critical after bringing the wrong socks on a backpacking trip.
"I totally blistered my feet on that hike, came back tail between my legs and was looking for better hiking socks," he said.
When he didn't find any, he put his University of Washington entrepreneurship degree to work and created them. From The Ground Up socks are made of a merino blend he calls "Incredi-wool."
“It’s anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, blister-resistant, and odor-resistant," Nasr said.
They're field-tested by hard-core hikers like Julia Sheehan, who walked the Appalachian Trail.
"She took them the entire 2200 mile stretch, three pairs of socks, they didn't wear out, they didn't cause blisters, she went home, she threw out all of her other hiking socks,” Nasr said.
The socks are also stylish, honoring the peaks they're made to summit. They’re emblazoned with images of the Cascade and Olympic ranges, Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Glacier Peak, Mount Adams and Mount Pilchuck. They also feature elevations and coordinates.
5% of sales benefit the Washington Trails Association - a non-profit that helps maintain, preserve and educate people about Washington's 3,500 trails.
The FTGU brand has expanded to include t-shirts, beanies, snapbacks, hoodies and topographical face masks.
Nasr said he's now ready to conquer the next step.
"Right down the street, REI – please,” he said, laughing.
For now, you can find FTGU gear at Periodic: A Pop-Up Shop in South Lake Union through July 5th.
Products are also available online and at the following Washington stores: