our friends at alabama chanin first introduced us to little river sock mill in northeast alabama this summer. we had admired their collaboration, so when i was close to little river's home base in fort payne, alabama recently, i decided to stop in for a visit. gina locklear greeted me at the door of her family's mill and shared with me their history as we walked the aisles of machines at work. here, her family has made socks for almost 20 years, but gina's goal when she returned was to create her own line of organic cotton socks. she now has two lines, zkano and little river, that are sold across the country. i loved seeing the combination of old and new....on one machine, traditional tube socks were being woven, while on a machine right next door gina's socks in bright colors or neutral stripes were being woven, too. it is always refereshing to see southern textile manufacturing being re-invented, especially in a sustainable way. plus, the socks are beautiful!
words and photographs by rinne allen