Formerly known as Zockster (which began as a sock subscription), Bamboo Supply Co. now offers over 20 bamboo products, including new sock styles, t-shirts, boxer briefs, and women's underwear.
Aaron Robinson and Zac Pollack are the two founders of the business. In this interview, they share the motivation behind launching the company, what makes bamboo so special, their one style & fashion tip, and more.
What's the story behind Bamboo Supply Co., and what motivated you to start the business?
Aaron & Zac: Bamboo Supply Co. started as a simple and personal mission to get better socks for a reasonable price. We were quite tired of paying designer label prices for mediocre socks, and we were tired of worrying about them every day.
We discovered bamboo socks, fell in love — they’re soft like cashmere, high performance to wick moisture and fight odor, and sustainable - all about the same price as quality cotton.
We loved the socks, and also realized the opportunity we had to share them with the world. The socks opened up our eyes to the world of bamboo, and we’ve added boxers, shirts, and underwear to the shop, with more coming soon!
Tell us about the value that Bamboo Supply Co. brings to the table. What are the top benefits of being one of your customers?
Aaron & Zac: Our mission is to deliver amazing bamboo products to your door, keep it super easy to stay stocked up on what you need, and provide the best support possible to our customers.
Products - We’re investing the time to source, test, and design the best bamboo products on the market. Right now, we’re all about the everyday basics — bamboo socks, boxers, t-shirts, and underwear — and we’re always on the prowl for the next great addition. Behind the scenes, we’re testing out some home goods and even sunglasses.
Convenience - We believe in the power of combining technology with human intelligence to make it as easy as possible to get what you need. You shouldn’t have to worry about having enough socks in your drawer for your job, your gym plans, or your life. Bamboo Supply Co. products are available by subscription for complete automation, and via text message — sign-up once, and text us when you need socks or more. A human reads and responds to every message we receive, and we’re known for our sock fashion advice!
Support - We’re a small, dedicated team. In addition to every text message, a human on our Chicago-based team reads every email we receive and replies. If you’re not happy with a purchase, we’ll do everything in our power to make it right.
What makes bamboo special?
Aaron & Zac: Thanks for asking! We just think bamboo is wonderful.
Bamboo has something for everyone: It’s super soft and comfortable. It has natural properties that wick moisture away from your skin, and fight bacteria, which helps keep things like Athlete’s Foot and odor at bay.
It’s a great sustainable alternative to cotton. Cotton alone accounts for over 10% of all of the pesticide we use. Bamboo doesn’t need any of that.
Plus, it takes 200 times less water to grow, and actually removes CO2 from the atmosphere, so growing bamboo literally fights global warming.
Oh, and pandas eat a different kind of bamboo :)
Your business was formerly known as Zockster. Why did you change the name?
Aaron & Zac: Bamboo Supply Co. started as a sock subscription service. As we sold more and more bamboo socks, we quickly realized that the wonderful features of bamboo shouldn’t be limited to our feet, and started looking for the best products to sell alongside bamboo socks.
The new name makes plain our mission to be your go-to source for the best bamboo products.
What is the #1 clothing-related issue you think guys struggle with?
Aaron & Zac: We struggle with balancing style and comfort. We’ve really embraced more variety of styles in the workplace, and while that frees us from having to wear a suit and tie everyday, it means we have to be professional and comfortable.
The comfort really matters because we aren’t always sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day — we’re at conferences, sales calls at different companies with their own dress codes, and heading right to social events.
Find some dark jeans that you absolutely love wearing. Dress them up with a tucked in shirt, tie, blazer, and wing tips, or way down with sneakers and a t-shirt.
We think about this balance a lot at Bamboo Supply Co, and it’s why we’re focusing on offering super comfortable and stylish socks for every style, from plain and conservative to bright and funky.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception that guys have when it comes to fashion & style?
Aaron & Zac: It matters what we wear, but we’re our own harshest critics. Our friends, family, and coworkers expect us to dress appropriately, and otherwise don’t mind that much — if at all — about what we’re wearing.
A lot of us have the misconception that everyone absolutely has to define his (or her, as this applies to women too) incredible style - when in reality, it’s easy to be comfortable, appropriate, and even individualistic with just the basics.
To illustrate this point (and another important point about how we treat women in society), this guy wore the same suit every day for an entire year to his job — and he works on TV! — and no one noticed.
President Obama said: "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."
Uber successful Alabama head football coach Nick Saban eats a salad of iceberg lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes every day. The regular menu, he says, saves him the time of deciding what to eat each day.
Getting the point? Save your time and energy to make more important decisions.
You can 100% wear a dark suit, white dress shirt, and basic tie, or jeans and a tucked in button-down every day for years on end, and no one will think any less of you. In fact, they’ll probably be impressed because you’ll likely be an all star at work, with all of that saved brainpower other people are using to decide what to wear.
Start by investing your time to find the products that fit really well, and then invest your money and buy a few of each. Sprinkle a few random items here or there as you find unique things you love to supplement your base.
We want Bamboo Supply Co. to be a great option for smart guys taking advantage of this strategy. Completely automate your sock drawer with our sock of the month club or design subscriptions, buy online, or text us as you need them. You’ll always know the socks are stylish and comfortable.
If you could give our readers just one fashion & style tip, what would it be?
Aaron & Zac: Dress so you're comfortable.
If you do that, and stick to reasonable boundaries of appropriate attire for each occasion, you'll be more confident and happy than any external validation of what you're wearing could ever do.
How can our readers learn more about what you're up to and connect with you online?
Aaron & Zac: We’re online and would love to hear from you!
- Or, drop us a personal note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every email there and reply, usually on the same day.
Step Up Your Game
Thanks to Aaron & Zac for the interview!
If you're interested in trying out some bamboo-made clothing, make sure to check out Bamboo Supply Co. - and use the discount code "dappered" to save 15% on your order. :)
In addition, if you're super down to look dapper, but NOT AT ALL down to go shopping, do yourself a favor and check out "Doorstep Dapperness," which is a list of 37 ways you can have "dapperness" regularly delivered to you.
You can download a free copy of "Doorstep Dapperness: 37 Ways to Get Dapperness Regularly Delivered to Your Door" by clicking the image below: