Gococo socks it to you with new swimrun design
Annie and Linnéa Wennergren
By Nancy Heslin
As every swimrunner would agree, never underestimate the importance of the sock. No one wants a blister or chafing when you still have 30km of swimming and running to go.
“So many people invest time and energy when training for a race,” says Linnéa Wennergren, “but don’t realise the importance of a sock before they actually have that blister.”
Linnéa and her sister Annie are the garment gurus behind Gococo, the sport socks company which uses quick-dry 37.5 Technology. “True, your feet will never be totally dry during a swimrun race but you can still handle the moisture with better material choices.”
Founded by the Swedish twins in 2012, Gococo was a perfect fit for the sport of swimrun. “We were just starting out and back then swimrun was also a smaller, niche sport that the bigger names didn’t bother to look at. We saw the opportunity to be an ÖTILLÖ official supplier and took it!” says Annie who added
“We love being part of the swimrun community, which has helped us to grow to what we are today.”
Sleepless nights to find perfect swimrun sock
When it comes to compression socks there are as many opinions as options – for recovery, muscle fatigue, improving circulation, minimising muscle strain – but when it comes to swimrun, Linnéa and Annie say it’s an advantage to wear compression socks not only for running long distances but also transitioning in and out of the water: “The over-the-calf height not only protects you against the rocks but also prevents mud and gravel from getting inside the sock during the transition.”
For several years, Gococo has made the Limited Edition ÖTILLÖ World Championship sock, but now, after “many sleepless nights”, the company is releasing a new sock later this season especially designed for swimrun, which, for the first time, will keep flotation devices in place while maintaining compression.
“We have to admit that we are pretty happy about the result!” say the twins, who explain that while they look to colours trending in the sport footwear and clothing markets, they always stay true to their Scandinavian roots of clean lines with a twist: “It should be ‘lagom’ (just right).”
Natural born sailors – and World No 1, too
Becoming sock experts is only part of the twins’ story. Growing up close to the sea in Gothenburg, they are natural born sailors and today the sisters’ Team Anna is No 1 on the Match Racing World Sailing Ranking.
“This is a special class where you change boats wherever you compete in the world and it’s not just enough to sail well,” says Linnea, who was named “2016 Sailor of the Year” by the Swedish Sailing Federation. “You need to adapt the game, communication, teamwork and movements on board depending on what boat you are sailing.”
The 36-year-old siblings leave nothing to chance: “Training, sponsors, physio, mental training, teamwork and admin, these are things you need to work on to be your best self when it’s time to shine,” explains Annie.
To stay at the top of their game, the sisters quickly realised you need to either have a really understanding boss or run your own company. They tried out the first option for several years. Annie worked as a fashion PR in London and Linnéa as a management consultant in Stockholm but they then decided to set up their own business.
You say Gococo, I say Gococo
Coming from an entrepreneurial family with parents who worked within functional textiles, Annie and Linnéa grew up talking textile fibres and technologies around the dinner table.
“The sock market is more competitive than we’d ever imagined. So you have to be smart. We have built a solid network in the industry with influencers, retail buyers and athletes but it’s been hard work,” says Linnea. Annie works mainly in sales and PR while Linnéa is responsible for production, webpage and other markets, styles etc., although the colour range decision they both have a say in.
The name Gococo was born when they decided to work with the patented 37.5 Technology by Cocona, which is based on active particles made from volcanic sand and activated carbon from coconut shells that are infused in a textile/polyester fibre.
“We are quite well known in Sweden but we still have a long way to go before we are known as ‘THE sport sock brand’,” Linnea admits. “We just launched a new updated website so now we just need to spread more Gococo to the world!”
Annie adds, “The Gococo brand has developed really well internationally and the pronunciation has given us many happy laughs. There are no rules – we let each of the different Gococo pronunciations live their own life!”
Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #7 (May 2018)