Honest Review: Swedish Stockings v.s. Sheertex
I’ve had so many questions about which ethical tights to choose. For a long time, European brand Swedish Stockings was the only true option for ethically made, environmentally conscious tights. Then came Sheertex, a Canadian brand whose platform was that their tights are unbreakable.
Now, for a person who goes through 2 pairs of tights per season, minimum (not counting any freak collateral damage like my sister’s boot zipper catching on my tights while we were at the Broadway show Anastasia) – the idea of unbreakable stockings seemed pretty good. When Sheertex reached out to me, I said yes to trying their new sheers out – if only to give everyone here a crystal clear idea of how they stack up against my brand of choice.
In this post I’m rating sheer black tights against these criteria, on a scale of 10:
In full transparency, I have been gifted both Sheertex and Swedish Stockings in the past – however, I am a regular customer of Swedish Stockings and have purchased from them for the past 2.5 years!
Sheertex // 10
Swedish Stockings // 6
It’s no surprise that Sheertex takes the cake in this category. They’ve developed a *top secret* blend of fibres they won’t reveal, but claim is stronger than steel and used in bulletproof vests—which sounds like Kevlar to me. It’s completely resistant to rough nails, constant friction in boots and shoes, sharp objects, catches, you name it. I took my regular size and found no issues with snags.
Swedish Stockings durability is highly dependent on the blend you purchase. I find their 100% recycled blends tend to be less durable, but any of their sheer pairs with a higher Denier count last a season for me. I purchase 1 size up from my usual, so the fibres are under less stress. I also wear my Swedish Stockings along with socks overtop in winter with my boots, as it keeps my feet warmer and protects against friction. But ultimately, they’re not resistant to rough nails or catches – so you do have to treat them with more care and store them in the cello bags they are shipped in.
Sheertex // 2
Swedish Stockings // 10
I have to admit, I was disappointed with the quality of Sheertex. For such a big promise of being nearly indestructible, you’d hope that they’d be your go-to tights for the foreseeable future. But the tights have a strange banding in the fibres, which are visible enough from a distance that I wouldn’t wear them with anything other than a skirt of mid-calf length. I’m unsure if it was a specific batch that had a malfunction, or if this is representative of their product overall, but I have a suspicion that manufacturing an indestructible fibre comes with some side-effects, this one being that they sacrificed appearance for durability.
Swedish Stockings are everything I ever wanted in a sheer pair of tights. Their site may be confusing at first, but the reason there are so many options of black tights is that each have a different Denier count. Denier indicates the thickness of the fibre, which in turn indicates how sheer your tights will be. So if you choose 60 Denier, they’ll be more opaque. 30 Denier, and they’ll be beautifully sheer. Their tights are consistent in their look, without unpleasant defects. Just a smooth, even look throughout.
Sheertex // 6
Swedish Stockings // 7
Sheertex tights feel beautifully smooth to the touch. Because they don’t reveal a lot about where they source their materials, it’s difficult to evaluate quality but the feel is definitely there. The only disadvantage is that after a half a day of wear, I found them running down my hips in a weird nightmare of childhood. No matter what I did, I couldn’t keep them snug around my waist. I resigned myself to yanking them up at every possible interval throughout the day.
Swedish Stockings have different feels depending on the tights you purchase. For more fleecy-feeling tights, their 100% recycled blends. For more traditional nylon feel, their higher Denier count. They always feel smooth, if a little delicate – but I’ve never had problems with them riding down. They stay in place, nice and snug without being suffocating.
Sheertex // 7
Swedish Stockings // 10
Sheertex has quite a bit of variety for a newer brand. With a few different colours, polka-dot, seam, glitter and striped options, they’ve got enough to keep you interested if you’re the type who wants something more jazzy than a standard tight.
Swedish Stockings has an impressive assortment, from socks, fishnets, patterns, glitter, different levels of sheer – almost too many to mention! Their colour palettes are gorgeous. They even have knee and thigh-high options. They even sell a wash bag to help protect your stockings and prevent harmful microfibres from entering the water system.
Sheertex // 8
Swedish Stockings // 5
Sheertex has a vote in their favour from the get-go: their product images are inclusive of a variety of body shapes, weights, and ethnicities. They carry 3 shades of nude: light, medium and dark. Their sizes go from 4’11” height to 6’1” height, and from 100lbs (S size) to 305lbs (3X size).
Swedish Stockings also has 3 shades of nude: light, medium and dark, as well as a brown shade. Their sizes go from 4’11” height to 6’1” height, and 88lbs (XS size) to 242lbs (XL size). Their product images are consistent in an effort to display the subtle differences in their products, but ultimately, they have a ways to go in representation in order to qualify as truly inclusive.
Sheertex // 4
Swedish Stockings // 10
Sheertex manufactures in Canada, which gains some points on its own as a more sustainable option, because of the smaller carbon footprint of shipping if you live in Quebec or Ontario. Unfortunately due to the nature of their durable blend, they must manufacture from virgin materials. Sheertex maintains that the durability is a count in its favour, as you don’t need to dispose of as many pairs once they’re worn out. There isn’t much information available about their manufacturing, so I’m unable to truly rank them on sustainability. There’s no recycling program, so once you’ve used up your tights, to the garbage they go.
Swedish Stockings holds the no.1 rank for sustainability. Their relentlessness in addressing every step of their production and consumption cycle is unparalleled. Their production is powered by solar and renewable energy. They produce their stockings from recycled materials. The water used in their dyeing processes is purified after use. Their factories are zero-waste. Their products are manufactured in Italy, and the company is aware that their largest markets are in Canada, Sweden and Holland – so one of the ways they reduce their carbon footprint is by shipping right from their factory.
The recycling program that Swedish Stockings runs will accept any brand of tights. Because they haven’t yet discovered a way to fully separate the nylon from elastene, they’ve become part of a research group to try and address this messy middle step. They currently melt down old tights into lining for fibreglass tanks that function as oil and grease traps (source: SS sustainability edit 2018).
Sheertex // $$$
Swedish Stockings // $$
Compared using USD, Sheertex go for a range of $49-79. Swedish Stockings come in around $24-49. Both can seem pricey if you’re accustomed to paying $10 for a pair, but if you use the proper care instructions, both of these brands will last you at least a season (as opposed to a single or two wears).
Sheertex // 6.2
Swedish Stockings // 8
If durability is your top priority and you’re in looking for sizes 1-3X, Sheertex is for you. There’s no comparison, and especially in a lifestyle that involves kids or pets, these will be the best choice. Especially for Canadians, it’s also a smart local choice. But for me, the comfort and manufacturing defects were dealbreakers.
In all other areas, Swedish Stockings takes the cake. They care deeply about sustainability, offer recycling programs no matter which brand you use, have a beautiful quality and stay up all day without a fuss.
I hope this has helped you make a choice between the two brands! Both are great choices depending on what you’re looking for. Have any questions? Pop them in the comments section below!