Generally speaking, I have always found it easy and fun to build up my wardrobe with second-hand shoes and garments. There are, however, a handful of items I use often but have no choice but to buy new. One of these is hosiery. As someone who loves to wear skirts and dresses, I go through tights and stockings at an alarming rate.
Although it is easy enough to buy cheap tights, these items are known to be pretty damaging to the environment: nylon, often the main component of tights, takes 30 to 40 years to biodegrade and its production creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas reportedly 310 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. The negative impacts of the hosiery manufacturing processes are all the more severe considering that tights can often only be worn a handful of times (sometimes just once…) before ladders and ripped seams render these wardrobe staples unwearable.
This made me wonder: what sort of environmentally friendly stocking options are there out there?
My first foray into eco hosiery is a pair of black tights by Swedish Stockings.
According to its website, the production process employed by the company uses 87.6% less energy than traditional methods and 90 to 98% of the yarn used is made from recycled waste. The brand won the Elle “Eye-catcher of the Year” award in 2016 and has collaborated with designers such as Filippa K.
Verdict: I tried Swedish Stockings “Olivia Premium” tights (size S/60 denier/black). Let me begin by saying that I love the fit of this pair. They are smooth and fit snugly in all the right places. This type has a reasonable broad waistband, which is comfortable and avoids the dreaded “muffin top” effect. Although I have only worn them a handful of times — and can thus not yet truthfully comment on their durability — they have kept their shape perfectly so far. 60 denier is proving warm enough to wear in winter in the Netherlands [It’s snowing now], without feeling bulky.
Any downside? Considering that tights are generally pretty cheap, Swedish Stockings might be regarded as a little pricey (they retail for between 18 and 23 euros). However, since they are sustainable and fit me very well (and should last a while), I personally felt OK about investing in this pair.
Where Can I Get It? I bought my pair in a shop in Leiden for €19,95, but Swedish Stockings are also widely available online. In fact, the company offers a pretty cool 30% online discount on their products when you send three pairs of old/ripped stockings to the company’s recycling centre.
Have you tried this product? Let us know what your experience was in the comment section below.