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11 Best Plastic Free and Eco-Friendly Tights

Tights are one of my go-to cold-weather looks. They are perfect with boots and a skirt for brisk Autumn days. However, most tights are made from plastic and their production and disposal results in emissions and pollution.

Tights have been described as the “plastic straws of fashion”. Old-school tights are usually made from nylon, a plastic-based synthetic fiber that comes from coal and crude oil. The production of nylon uses a huge amount of energy and generates nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas 300 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

On top of that, nylons are generally not recyclable. Once you get a run in your tights and throw them out, (which happens to me way too quickly,) it takes at least thirty years for nylon tights to decompose (and quite often, longer).

Fortunately, some brands are starting to make tights out of different materials that have less damaging production processes and afterlife. Some tights that are labeled ‘eco-friendly’ are made from recycled nylon, which helps to divert waste nylon from landfills but still isn’t an ideal material. Some better material options are described below.

Materials Used for Eco-Friendly Tights

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When you’re looking for tights that are less polluting than traditional stockings, look for materials such as:

ECONYL

This is a brand of regenerated nylon, made from ocean and landfill waste, such as carpet, fishing nets and industrial plastic. However, this synthetic fabric is not as environmentally friendly as a natural fiber.

Recycled nylon

This diverts waste away from landfills, and uses fewer resources to produce than traditional nylon. Again, it’s not as good for the environment as natural fibers.

Scraps of material left after the yarn is cut

This method is sustainable as it stops the wastage of fabric, but, when it comes to nylon, it’ll still mean that the same energy and resource is used to create the initial fabric and the tights will end up in a landfill.

Polyamide EVO

This brand of polyamide is an extremely thin, stretchy material which is perfect for tights – and it’s of 100% natural origin. It involves farmers cultivating the Ricinus Communis plant, which also does not require much water to grow.

Recycled polyamide

This is made from recycled polyamide monomers, the most common of which is nylon. This has ideal qualities for tights, and stops old nylon going to landfill.

Recycled polyester

This synthetic fibre gives a use to polyester which had previously been discarded, diverting it from landfill, but it is still made from the common plastic PET.

Bamboo

Not only is bamboo natural, but it’s a highly sustainable plant, with plants growing to full size in just 3 or 4 months compared to other trees which take decades to grow – meaning it’s naturally very renewable. Plus, it requires no pesticides or chemicals to cultivate. However, processing bamboo into textiles can be resource intensive.

Recycled elastane

While regular elastane is non-biodegradable and the manufacturing process requires a lot of energy, recycled elastane gives these garments a new use rather than going to landfill.

You May Also Like...  8 Plastic-Free Eco Friendly Swimwear Brands

Cotton

Organic cotton has a more sustainable production process than many other materials, and uses fewer chemicals than its synthetic counterparts – but it does require a large amount of land and water to cultivate.

Here are my 12 favorite brands for eco-friendly tights!

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Kunert

German company Kunert have created the Kunert Blue 90 tights, which are biodegradable.

Check out Kunert


Swedish Stockings

A pioneer in creating more sustainable tights for the masses, Swedish Stockings boasts all zero-waste factories, tights made from materials like polyamide, and production which is powered by renewable energy.

Check out Swedish Stockings


Thought

Nordic fashion house Thought uses sustainable bamboo rather than nylon for their tights, making them naturally moisture-wicking and super soft.

Check out Thought


Dear Denier

Danish company Dear Denier specializes in sustainable hosiery, made from recycled nylon and sustainable materials. As the company explains, “Our mission is to overcome the environmental and ethical challenges of traditional hosiery production and make the most sustainable products possible without compromising on the quality”.

Check out Dear Denier


Aarre

The 3D Pantyhose by Aarre are designed to be ultra-comfortable, as well as environmentally friendly.  Made using pre-recycled Q-NOVA polyamide, this production method aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and uses 90% less water than regular polyamide production.

Check out Aarre


Fat Face

These warm cable knit tights are made from modal, a durable, plant-ased eco-friendly material made from beech tree pulp.

Check out Fat Face


Living Crafts

Living Crafts offers a range of tights and socks made from natural materials, such as cotton, and sustainable tights made from polyamide EVO.

Check out Living Crafts


Charnos

This recycled option is made from fabric offcuts, after the yarn has been cut, ultimately saving tons of fabric from going to landfill.

Check out Charnos


Lanius

Lanius offers a range of tights and socks made from more sustainable materials, such as natural organic cotton and recycled polyamide.

Check out Lanius


The Legwear Co.

Not only are these tights designed to be long-lasting, but The Legwear Co. offer a free ‘Sustainable Hosiery Initiative’ for recycling your unwanted tights to save them from going to landfill.

Check out the Legwear Co.


Gudrun Sjödén

Made from 90% recycled nylon, you can purchase these leggings and tights knowing that you are helping prevent traditional nylon going to landfill.

Check out Gudrun Sjödén


Disclosure: Please note that some of the above links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I would never recommend anything I don’t personally love and the income goes towards keeping this site running and free to everyone.

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