It’s time for another ethical fashion guide! This time, I’m showcasing the best sustainable tights in my wardrobe, as well as the best tights brands here in the UK.
I really love a good pair of tights. They’re one of my favourite ways to make an outfit more playful, adding a pattern or collection of symbols into my typically monochrome outfits. They also look great in varying deniers. And of course, they’re an easy way to winterise a summer outfit, or enjoy transitioning the seasons without needing to change up your core outfit rotation.
Here’s a run-down of what to look for in tights, and peek into my hosiery drawer too…
What To Look For In Sustainable Tights
When it comes to finding tights that have positive credentials, I recommend looking for the following:
- Transparent supply chains. It’s good to know who is making your tights, and that they are being treated well and paid a living wage. After all, people make up one third of the ‘people, planet, profit’ mantra! Sustainable fashion brands tend to share details of the people who make their clothes as standard, so anywhere that keeps this a mystery is already waving a red flag.
- Sustainable materials. In my guide to sustainable fabrics, I shared 15 different textiles I consider better for the planet (and much, much better than polyester, which is the fashion industry’s #1 textile). For tights, it’s quite hard to move away from synthetic fibres, so I recommend looking for recycled or regenerated materials, or if appropriate, cotton or wool.
- Slow production. Nobody wants to be buying a new pair of tights every week, so finding tights that are designed to last is important. One of the main aims of sustainable fashion movement is to slow down the production of clothes, so finding tights that last is key.
- Circular design. Tights are a brilliant example of a garment that can be made from just one material, so I recommend choosing tights made from a mono-material if you can. Clothing made with just one material has a much higher chance of being recycled, and this is true of tights as well.
My Favourite Pairs Of Tights
I have a six pairs of tights that I wear regularly. My most beloved pair have to be my polka-dot tights from Swedish Stockings. These are so much fun, and they soften a lot of my outfits to stop me looking like I’m power dressing for a funeral (!)
Next in line are the cross-hatch style tights shown above – these are my Coco Tights from Billi London. Sadly, Billi had to close its doors earlier this year, and it’s a real shame. In seeing Billi go, we lost the world’s first luxury leg-wear brand whose entire composition benefitted from landfill-accelerated degradation technology. Instead of tights rotting for years in landfill, Billi’s tights were designed to break down in an eco-friendly way once they reached the end of their life. I’ll cherish my Coco Tights for a long time to come!
The rest of my tights collection is built around black tights in varying deniers. I also have an extra warm pair of ribbed tights that are so good for the winter. They’re warm, while still looking chic!
6 Of The Best Sustainable Tights Brands In The UK
Alongside my personal favourites, there are lots of other great sustainable tights brands selling in the UK. Here are a few to bookmark:
Hose*: Luxury hand-printed hosiery designed in Brighton and made in Italy.
Organic Basics*: Recycled nylon tights made in ethical factories in Turkey and Portugal.
Pretty Polly: Check out Pretty Polly’s Eco-Wear range, made with biodegradable polyamide that’s also recyclable.
Swedish Stockings: Tights and knee-highs all made from sustainable and recycled materials.
Thought Clothing*: Block coloured tights in a range of colours, made from bamboo!
Wolford*: Heritage hosiery brand Wolford have started dabbling with recycled nylon (ECONYL) and I’m here for it!
P.S. Here’s How To Recycle Old Tights…
And once you’ve got your new tights, what are you going to do with the old ones? Recycle them of course!
A number of the above brands offer their own recycling programs, but if you can’t find one to suit you, why not donate them to Holey Tights? This is a sustainable fashion campaign run by Shannen Maria Samuel, a circular fashion entrepreneur based in London. By donating to Holey Tights, you’ll also receive:
- A ‘thank you’ package
- A store discount
- Peace of mind that your unwanted tights have turned into a creation, rather than going to landfill!
Looking for more sustainable hosiery? Take a read of my guide to sustainable socks…