Looking for the best sustainable tights? We’ve done all the leg work and found the ethical and eco-friendly UK brands to know.
Tights may be a wardrobe staple, but have you ever stopped to think about just how sustainable your average pair of tights is?
Unfortunately, the answer is not very sustainable. Most tights are made from synthetic fibres, including polyester and nylon. These fibres are derived from non-renewable fossil fuels, including coal and crude oil, which help drive climate change.
Tights are also almost on par with plastic straws. For years we’ve been buying them, wearing them, ripping them, binning them, and then repeating the cycle. So much so, that industry insiders estimate that each year, a staggering 8 billion pairs of tights are produced. The majority of these tights are worn only a handful of times before being binned.
This discarded tights mountain contributes towards landfill waste. And not only that but as the majority of tights are made from synthetic fibres, this poses another environmental problem. These synthetic fibres release microplastics during their short lifetime, every time they are washed and continue to release microplastics even when they end up in the bin.
These tiny pieces of plastic turn up everywhere – from mountain tops to the bottom of ocean trenches, and increasingly in our bodies, currently the effects of which are unknown.
So is there a way to make tights more sustainable? The good news is that change is afoot. We’ve done all the leg work for you and found the best ethical and eco-friendly UK brands to know right now.
Guide To Sustainable Tights
Let’s step to it with our pick of the best sustainable tights brands:
Caters for sizes: XS – XXL
Priced from: £32
Made in: The UK and Italy
Available from: Hēdoïne
For luxury sustainable tights, Hēdoïne is definitely a brand to look at.
Hēdoïne’s award-winning, ladder-resistant tights are crafted to last longer and challenge throwaway fashion. Even its low-denier tights are designed with durability in mind.
How does Hēdoïne do this? First, Hēdoïne selects only the highest quality yarns and then uses 3D knitting technology to create the strongest possible weave. Hēdoïne then reinforces the toes – the weakest point of any pair of tights – to help ensure its tights go the distance.
As well as being durable, sustainability is also key. Hēdoïne offers a range of biodegradable tights. Combining ladder resistance with biodegradable yarn has created tights that both last longer and decompose at their end of life. Plus, all of its tights are made ethically in the UK and Italy.
Style and comfort are also key for Hēdoïne. You’ll find tights in a variety of deniers, colours and patterns – from nudes to fishnets – all of which are seamless, soft, and sag-free.
Get 15% off your first order when you sign up for the Hedoine mailing list.
Caters for UK sizes: 6 – 20
Priced from: £11.95
Vegan-friendly: All tights, except its range of wool tights.
Available from: John Lewis
If you are looking for sustainable tights at a lower price point, then try Thought Clothing.
Its cosy and comfortable tights are ethically crafted from a range of eco-friendly fabrics. This includes recycled nylon, organic cotton, bamboo, and natural wool.
Ladder-resistant, they’re also designed to last longer, meaning less waste.
Thought’s tights have been designed to be stretchy, not saggy, and soft on your skin. Plus they are available in a range of colours – from classic black, brown and navy, to fun colours, such as dark orange, blue and red. This is perfect if you are looking to add a pop of colour to your wardrobe.
Caters for sizes: XS – XL
Priced from: £12.60
Vegan-friendly: Some tights are vegan-friendly, but not all. Some contain organic wool and cashmere.
Available from: Content Beauty
Swedish Stockings, available in the UK at Content Beauty, make stylish sustainable tights that are sure to become wardrobe staples.
All of its high-quality hosiery is ethically produced in Italy from recycled or natural materials. The recycled materials comprise of pre-and post-consumer nylon waste that is non-biodegradable. Some tights are even cleverly made from old tyres.
Designed to last, durability is key. From ladder-resistant to rip-resistant tights, all tights also come with reinforced toes to make them toe-tally last longer.
Swedish Stockings also offers a handy tights recycling service to help reduce waste. Simply collect three or more pairs of synthetic pantyhose, and send them to Swedish Stockings – making sure to include your email address. When they arrive, you’ll be sent a 10% discount code. Swedish Stockings then grind down your old tights to be used as filler material in industrial fibreglass tanks or to make stylish tables.
Caters for sizes: 8 – 24
Priced from: £19.95 (3 for 2 offers also available)
Available from: Seasalt
For sustainable organic cotton tights, head to Seasalt.
As the very first fashion company to achieve Soil Association GOTS certification back in 2005, Seasalt knows its stuff.
Ethically made in Italy, its super soft and organic cotton sustainable tights, feel lovely against your skin. Plus the soft ribbed waistband offers all-day comfort.
As well as organic cotton tights, you’ll also find tights made from recycled nylon and bamboo. These are available in a range of colours and patterns and are perfect for adding a bit of pep to your wardrobe.
Tips To Make Your Tights Last Longer
As well as buying more sustainable tights, another important eco action you can do is take steps to make your existing tights last longer. Here are our top tights care tips:
- Those in the know pop their tights in the freezer for a few hours before putting their tights on. Apparently, the cold helps to tighten up the fabric of your tights, making them less likely to rip as you put them on. Not heard of freezing clothes? It’s a thing!
- Before putting your tights on, make sure your fingernails and toenails are smooth. If you have any rough patches on your hands, try moisturising them to help avoid catching your tights with them.
- Avoid wearing jewellery when putting your tights on and take them off again.
- Try gently stretching your tights before every wear, to avoid stressing the yarn of your tights. Think of it like the warm-up you do before exercise to prepare your body for physical activity!
- Hand wash your tights where possible.
- If you can’t hand wash them, pop them in a delicates bag before you machine wash them. This prevents your tights from wrapping around other items of clothing, stretching them out of shape, or getting caught on zips or hooks on other items of clothing.
- Avoid using fabric conditioner, and tumble drying them, as both can damage the elastane in tights.
Looking for more ideas to help put your best foot forward? Do also check out our guide to ethical socks for more sustainable suggestions.