Ethical, Sustainable Tights: Swedish Stockings
A few years ago, I Googled “ethical tights” and stumbled across what was going to be my happiest discovery ever: Swedish Stockings. I love wearing skirts in the winter, but with that comes the need for tights—and every fall, I’m faced with the same reality: mine have holes and runs all over them. A re-stock was in order. Only this time, I had given up fast fashion and needed a better option.
So after reading all I could about this brand based out of Sweden, I happily, albeit a little nervously, ordered two pairs of sheer black stockings on Boxing Day. There were a few wonderful things that I saw upon opening the package: hardly any plastic, soft, minimal design, and a card that explained the facets of their sustainable production.
All about Swedish Stockings
- Founded by Linn and Nadja, Swedish Stockings was started to combat the waste of nearly 2 billion discarded tights per year in the hosiery industry
- Rather than producing with non-biodegradable nylon yarn (and processing with harmful petroleum treatment), Swedish Stockings are made with recycled yarn and use environmentally friendly dyes
- After production, Swedish Stockings purifies all water from production so it can be safely redistributed to the earth
- Their factories are operated on nearly 100% solar power
- Swedish Stockings runs a recycling program, where you can mail back any (yes, any brand!) of ripped stockings to receive a discount on your next order. They use the material from these tights to produce new garments.
- They just launched their first line of 100% recycled stockings (both the elastine and the nylon) called Innovations. If demand keeps up, they plan to roll this into all their products!
I wore my first pairs of Swedish Stockings for a full winter, without any runs—which was pretty revolutionary! They include helpful care tips on each box so you can make your product last longer—because they certainly do cost more than your standard cheap tights. Mine eventually got holes in the toes (I’m helpless with socks and tights, my toes poke through them almost immediately). First, I darned them myself with some sock yarn and kept wearing them for the beginning of the next winter. Eventually, they sported new holes and I knew it was time to replace.
How to make your stockings last longer
- Size up. I ordered exactly my size, and all the stretching made holes develop faster. With a slightly larger size, there’s not as much stress on the fibres.
- Make sure you stretch ‘em! Your mom wasn’t kidding around back then—it really does help! This safely helps the fibres adjust before any unwelcome yanks.
- Always check your fingers and toes for sharp nails or rough skin before pulling them on. A little snag can develop quickly by accident!
- When putting them on, start from bottom up (and if it’s not right, start again instead of trying to adjust while they’re on)
- Wash only when needed. I only wash mine if I find the feet start looking rough. This’ll help increase the lifespan, since you’re decreasing stress on the fabric.
- If you’re prone to getting holes in the toes of all your socks, try wearing a pair of socks over or underneath your stockings. This can help soften the impact of your toes while walking and save you from unwanted holes.
Why do I love them?
I grew up a tomboy, and I somehow still get my legs banged up every summer from climbing trees, mosquito bites, renovations, and general hooliganism. The nude stockings (which are available in a variety of shades) give just enough coverage to soften some of the more dramatic dings in the shins.
The Maria Innovation Tights in black are a lovely sheer without weighing down your entire outfit and making you look like you’re on the way to a funeral. They’re just sheer enough.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t chat about their socks. I own a few pairs: their Sara Sneaker Sock, an ankle sock that’s durable but thin enough that it doesn’t feel gross and bulky. It’s perfectly lightweight!
I also have the Klara Knit Socks in Ivory, which come out for fun special occasions and remind me of the days in my childhood going to church on Sunday with fancy socks and a bonnet. Yep. That actually happened.
Third, I purchased knee highs which are lifesavers in the winter when it’s bitterly cold and I stubbornly want to wear my wide leg pants despite the wind. And lastly, I have their Elvira Net Socks which are a fun, edgy sock that I sometimes wear when I feel like jazzing up my heels.
Have any questions about Swedish Stockings? Send them my way in the comments section below!