Two billion pairs of tights are produced every year, worn a few times and then discarded. Their disposable nature, combined with the traditional petroleum-based manufacturing process, makes them a key contributor to the textile industry’s place as the second-most polluting in the world. If you can’t live without a pair, here are three sustainable alternatives to shop.
THE ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION: SWEDISH STOCKINGS
Stockholm-based Swedish Stockings set the bar for sustainability when it was founded back in 2013. The entire life cycle is considered, from environmentally friendly dyes and a solar-powered manufacturing process to the brand’s recycling program, where customers can send back any pair of old tights to help filter grease from water. For the first time ever, the spring/summer collection – inspired by spring festivities and new blooms – will feature loungewear, including bike shorts and leggings along with a range of tights and socks, made completely out of recycled nylon and elastane.
THE EVERLASTING PAIR: SHEERTEX
After 18 months of research and development, Sheertex founder Katherine Homuth finally perfected the brand’s ultra-strong – 10 times stronger than regular tights, to be exact – proprietary knit technology using the same fibres that are used in climbing equipment and bulletproof vests. Since then, Sheertex has taken over the largest hosiery factory in Canada, where it’s producing
a range of unbreakable styles (seriously, we’ve tried), including classic nude pantyhose and shimmery disco-esque tights.
FOR A STEADY SUPPLY: RACHEL
Montreal-based company Rachel specializes in subscription boxes that come with two pairs every month, which are designed in Montreal and made in Italy. The brand launched its first environmentally conscious collection last year, with two new styles coming this spring. The “eco tights” use Q-NOVA nylon, a recycled fibre made from waste materials that emits 80 percent less CO2 and whose production uses 90 percent less water compared to usual nylon production.
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