Over 8 billion pairs of tights or stockings are sold worldwide each year, yet most are made from nylon (plastic from the petroleum) industry which is not just bad for the planet, but deposits microplastics in the washing machine. Cotton Comfort (UK) offers mostly organic cotton tights, with a little elastane.
There is a huge caveat here, in that most brands of ‘sustainable hosiery’ still contain some nylon (either recycled or a little elastane to make them hosiery items). Until you can find totally zero waste technology, for now wash these (better but not perfect) brands in a microplastic catch bag.
Or do what women in the 40s did (who could not afford stockings) and just draw up the back of your leg, to make it look like you were wearing them! ‘Make-up’ stockings were quite difficult, involving a screw driver handle, a bicycle leg clip and an eyebrow pencil!
Living Crafts (Germany) uses EVO yarn, a biopolymer made by extracting oils from the castor oil plant. These opaque tights come in a range of colours.
- Hedoine (UK) offers ladder-resistant seamless tights, knee-highs and socks. The company is very honest about the fact that you can’t presently find 100% zero-waste hosiery, so are doing the best they can. These are quality crafted with lower water consumption, and sold in recycled paper packaging. Made ethically in the UK and Italy, you can also send back tights for recycling, to get £10 credit for future pairs.
- Swedish Stockings (also sold in Australia) uses recycled nylon to make their stockings, and again gives a 10% discount for sending backs tights for recycling.
- Underprotection (Denmark) designs and produces lingerie made with TENCEL™ (from wood), lyocell, recycled polyester, recycled nylon, banana fibers and organic cotton. All packaging is compostable and again there are take-back recycling programs.
- Dear Denier makes tights made from recycled materials, using Danish design in traceable natural fibres, leftovers from compancy production or recycled nylon and elastane. Organic Basics offers a similar brand of tights.
- Lanius (Germany) uses a form of nylon made from recycled fishing nets, to help keep ghost fishing gear out of the oceans.
- Ecooutfitters (UK) offers black organic cotton tights (with a little elastane) for school uniforms.