Tights are the plastic straws of fashion: They are made out of elastane and how often do you rip your stockings when you wear them for the first time? You’re not the only one. Each year, two billion pairs of tights are produced, worn a few times and then discarded, helping to make the textile industry the second most polluting industry in the world.
There was a time when I bought the really cheap ones and to be honest: I was surprised when they had survived the first day. Not sure if it had anything to do with me (I can be very clumsy, and I love climbing trees. That’s not the best combination with tights), but anyway: I’m sure it is not the most durable option. So during my journey towards a more fair and sustainable wardrobe, I came to a point where I could no longer ignore the fact that this is not sustainable and that it didn’t fit my lifestyle anymore. I also tried more expensive brands, most of the time they lasted longer, but the critical point is that it’s still a delicate material and it’s made out of elastane.
When I found out about Swedish Stockings, I was over the moon. These tights are made from recycled yarn. Their factories engage in sustainable practises, including the use of environmentally friendly dyes, post-dyeing water treatment and the use of solar power for much of the energy needed in the manufacturing process.
After learning that traditional pantyhose are petroleum products planned for obsolescence, we started Swedish Stockings with the mission to change and influence the entire hosiery industry.Swedish Stockings
When you’re looking around on their website, you might think: Who spends €20-30 on tights?! But I can tell you; it’s worth the money. More than a year ago I bought two pairs of Swedish Stockings (40 deniers and 60 deniers), and they are longlasting: I’m still wearing them.
Because of the colder days coming I bought 3 extra stockings last week: Enough to keep my legs warm this winter and hopefully more seasons to come!
How to take care of your stockings
Now that we have found a sustainable solution to prevent cold legs, we need to find a way to take care of them so it will be even more longlasting! So here are some tips:
1. Choose one size bigger
Have a look at the size guide. For me, it works best to buy one or two sizes bigger than I usually wear.
2. Stretch before you wear them
Pre-stretching the tights, by placing one hand on the foot of one leg, and the other on the top of part of the tights and pulling them apart, gently, helps to get the yarn ready and mobile to be put on and stretched on to your body. This also promotes a longer life for the yarn.
3. Carefully, one leg at a time!
Make sure your nails are smooth and that you have no sharp jewellery on. Scrunch on leg together and put one foot in, pull the tight carefully up to your knee. This way, you leave enough yarn to fit over the rest of your legs. Do the same thing with your other leg, stopping at the knee. Apply the same method to pull the rest of the tights up over your thighs and hips.
Handwash your tights in cold water, if that’s not an option, you can wash your stockings in a mesh garment bag in a washing machine, on a delicate cycle at 30 degrees celsius. Avoid putting the tights in with anything that they can snag un, such as zippers, hooks or clasps. No need to add softeners when washing our tights, as they can damage the elastane. Do not squeeze or wring the stockings – you can soak up the excess water by rolling them in a towel or gently squeezing them. Always hang them out to dry or lay flat, so they retain their shape.
5. Do not wash after every wear
Swedish Stockings recommends washing your tights after you wear them 5-6 times. To be honest, that’s new to me. I wash them after 2-3 days or so, but I would definitely try to wear them a little longer. Don’t forget to stretch them again after every wash!
How do you keep your legs warm during the colder months? Please share your tips with us!