To anyone who is interested in eco-friendly fashion, the words “sustainable hosiery” might well seem like an oxymoron. Traditionally, since manufacturers switched from using natural fibres to nylon to make women’s stockings, hosiery became one of those products planned for quick obsolescence!
Predictably, the result has been the abandonment of millions of pairs of ripped pantyhose to landfill to decay ever so slowly, all the while releasing toxic micro-plastics into the soil and waterways. And this does not even touch on the dirty fossil-fuel driven process of creating synthetic fibres or the exploitation of workers that fast fashion has given rise to.
It was this grim scenario that triggered a creative spark in eco-entrepreneurs Linn Frisinger and Nadja Forsberg and lead to the birth of Swedish Stockings Conscious Pantyhose – the world’s first sustainable hosiery label.
The first problem they decided to tackle was that of the use of nylon which is essentially plastic and as such is a huge waste problem. They collaborated with pioneering manufacturers of recycled fabrics such as Econyl and Nilit to source nylon fibres which are created from post-production and post-consumer waste, including abandoned fishing nets in the ocean. Although the technology does not currently exist to recycle old hosiery into new, Swedish Stockings is still helping in a big way to divert other kinds of nylon waste from landfill.
For Swedish Stockings, creating an eco-friendly product goes beyond the use of recycled materials – the principles of sustainability shaped the whole production process. Their factories are powered entirely by renewables such as solar and wind power which is 100% zero-waste as well as 100% emission-free. Even the water used in the dyeing process is free from waste as it is treated and recycled. In addition, the dyes are plant-based vegan and non-toxic, earning the products an OEKOTEX Standard 100 rating.
Equally important is the brand’s commitment to ethical manufacturing. Nadja and Linn have gone to great lengths to build relationships with suppliers who are equally as committed to fair treatment of workers and who actively invest in the well-being of their employees and the wider community.
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The mission of Swedish Stockings has always been “to change and influence the entire hosiery industry” – a vision which is certainly coming to fulfilment at the moment with traditional hosiery manufacturers starting to follow suit. The exciting thing about Swedish Stockings is their constant pursuit of new eco-friendly innovation and their creativity in proving that sustainable fashion doesn’t equal boring fashion so stay tuned to see what they come out with next!
If you want to know more about the sustainable processes that Swedish Stockings engage in to create their fabulous eco-friendly tights and socks, visit the I’m Plastic Free directory listing and drop us a message – we’d love to hear from you!
Sustainable Hosiery & Essentials Australia
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