Bernie Sanders' mitten creator is making socks inspired by the famous meme

Stay warm the Sanders way, from head to toe. Proceeds go to hunger-fighting charities.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

The famous meme is making its way to the sock world.


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders became a hard-to-escape meme just by sitting in a chair looking cold and wearing some stylin' mittens at President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. More than just laughs have come out of Sanders' image. Sales of a bobblehead and a sweatshirt based on the now-famous photograph triggered donations of thousands of dollars to hunger-fighting program Meals on Wheels. And now, the mitten creator herself is jumping in with a sock design that will also help a hunger charity.

Sanders' stoic image has been edited into famous photos, regional jokes, classic movie scenes and more. And naturally, products relating to the photo followed.

Vermont teacher Jen Ellis made Sanders' mittens, and while she's not making more, she announced on Wednesday that she's collaborating with a sock company to make a sock inspired by the now-famous look.

"I'm partnering with Darn Tough Socks to produce a sock inspired by Bernie's mittens!!" Ellis wrote. "100% of the proceeds go to the Vermont Foodbank! I've seen a sneak peek of the design and it's AMAZING! Stay tuned!"

"Don't want to flex too hard, but we knew Jen was a teacher because she taught some of our kids," a tweet from the company said. "Kind soul. Asked us if we could help her mission to support the community. Absolutely. And her kindness can be rewarded."

The socks aren't the only product related to the Sanders' meme that's raising money for charity.

The day after the inauguration, Sanders' official web store began taking preorders for a $45 crewneck sweatshirt showing the iconic image, dubbing it the "Chairman Sanders crewneck." The shirt sold out right away. Two T-shirts, $27 each, were added later and also are sold out. The site note that 100% of proceeds go to Meals on Wheels Vermont. 


Bernie Sanders' sweatshirt, and two T-shirts that were added later, immediately sold out. All proceeds go to Meals on Wheels Vermont.

Screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

And a bobblehead of Sanders' inaugural pose is coming from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. The hall of fame even tweeted its own version of the meme, saying, "Bernie Sanders came to visit us today!"

According to WWLP-TV, the bobblehead is already the second-bestselling figure from the company, behind only that of Dr. Anthony Fauci. The hall of fame has also donated $10,000 to Meals on Wheels Vermont, the TV station reports, following Sanders' web store's lead.