Local business spreads message of love and inclusion with comfy socks

Hannah Lavon, Pals Socks
Northern Liberties native Hannah Lavon started her own business, Pals, to help “create a friendlier world.”
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When does a pair of socks become part of the city’s LGBTQ+ dialogue and crucial to the cause?

Obviously, when you are the style and socially conscious footwear brand, Pals, an LGBTQ+ woman-owned small biz straight out of Philly.

Founded by Northern Liberties native Hannah Lavon with its office and warehouse in Port Richmond, the friendly, homegrown sock stock with the #WeDontMatch hashtag started life as a mainly kids footwear brand—“because kids are our future and are starting to shape their opinions and values early,” notes Lavon—before moving into both men and women’s lines.

“The expansion into men and women’s socks occurred just after we had an internal brand conversation about repositioning ourselves as a brand for everyone, as we certainly celebrate inclusion,” says the Pals CEO. “If we celebrate inclusion, that should be age inclusive as well. I want anyone, who has a kid or not, to show and wear that they like, to be open minded. Like children, we like to always learn, like to make all kinds of different friends and be exposed to all kinds of things. We are a design driven brand and Pals is for anyone who likes good design, comfy socks and agrees with our manifesto: to create a friendlier world.”

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This friendlier world is made more Pals-like and socks-licious through Lavon’s company’s newest design collaboration with street artist Jason Naylor— whose recent mural created in partnership with Mothership Gallery in Fishtown just made that area a little more vivid.

“Jason is known for his positive vibes and bright colors, as well as for spreading kindness and love wherever he goes,” says the socks creator. “The 2 Be You collections that we came up with together pair two vibrant, colorful and seemingly opposite personality types, ones who, in reality, are very complimentary of each other for each to function at their best level.”

To that end, her new Pals socks come in titles such as Silly & Serious, Planner & Spontaneous and Shy & Outgoing to go with the differences in all of her buyers and wearers.

“We all have something wonderful and colorful to offer up. That’s how I feel about all our differences, especially all LGBTQ+ peoples contributions to society.”

Initially to help create positive social change, Pals are an obvious visual reminder that it is fun and joyful to have friends who aren’t exactly just like you. Along with the recent Naylor collab, Lavon’s sock company also collaborated with the iconic Paul Frank in the autumn of 2021 for a pair of rainbow Pals to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

And celebrating that community is what gives Pals Socks their serious, more thought-provoking edge, a mission for Pals to strive for every time they undeniably pair-off differing designed socks in one package.

“All Pals come paired as two different yet complementary pairs like a Burger & Fries. Milk & Cookies, etc,” says Lavon. “We are creating and inspiring more and more people, young and old, all the time, to celebrate each of our differences. The LGBTQ+ community has suffered greatly from hate, violence, discrimination and bigotry. As a member of the community and as a designer, I wanted to use my talent for creating social change. My socks create less hateful, bigoted people and instead create more open minded, more empathetic, more adventurous humans.”

For information, visit PalsSocks.com

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