If spring/summer 2020 runways are to go by, trendy tights have caught the attention of many designers across the globe. British designer Richard Quinn has launched a new range of tights decorated with brash florals to match the prints on his gowns. The mania of logo is also rife with labels like Gucci, Saks Potts and Fendi splattering their signage on tights this season.
High price and environmental concerns lead to boycott
However, one of the disadvantages of investing in these extortionate stockings is their price tags often far exceed their price-per-wear. As these tights are worn only a handful of times before being either torn to shreds or dumped in landfills, they have become a huge cause of concern for environmentalists. Campaigners like Extinction Rebellion and the Environmental Audit Committee conducted an inquiry into fast fashion last year and decided to boycott fast fashion and fur, shirking tights under the radar. Made from greenhouse gas emitting nylon, tights are like the single-use plastic of the textile industry. They are incredibly difficult to recycle and are often dumped into landfills.
Opting for eco-friendly tights
However, many hosiery manufactures are now producing eco-friendly tights. One such manufacturer, Clayton makes tights made of a mixture of yarns. It combines both recycled nylon and micro encapsulation technology that contains aloe vera, retinol and vitamin E. These yarns are sold from its family’s yarn business in England.
Another company, TLC runs a recycling program that encourages customers to return their tights so they can be melted down and their elastane content can be put into long-life plastic products, such as car components. Other brands like Swedish Stockings use recycled polyamide, bio-cotton and cashmere for their hosiery, in addition to producing it in zero-waste production facilities. Luxury hosiery label Wolford launched a range of stockings made from nylon waste and recycled ocean fishnets. The brand now aims to expand its sustainable range. However, it is skeptical as to whether eco-friendly tights can also be classified as being luxurious.
Innerwear brand Heist also produces durable tights. The brand recently set a series of sustainable goals to hit by 2020, which include reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions. Additionally, the brand also plans to launch its first pair of tights made from recycled materials. For this, it will adopt sustainable technologies, such as Roica Eco Smart elastane, a Japanese engineered innovation and Fulgar Q-NOVA®, a sustainable Nylon 6.6 made in Italy and created from raw material from production waste.
Durable tights to deal with extra costs
However, as these brands charge more for their products, consumers have to shoulder the burden of extra costs for apparels that are not sustainable. To overcome this, Marks & Spencer introduced ladder resist tights in 2007 that are extra durable, come in high deniers and are among the brand's bestselling items. The hosiery industry needs to revamp. Though a few select labels have made a definite start towards it, but there is still a long way to go to see tangible change across the high street and hesitant luxury brands.