Since the start, Swedish Stockings mission has been to change and influence the entire industry towards sustainable production. We’ve always prioritised and believed our fight to be for the planet. However, sustainability consists of three pillars: social, financial and environmental. We have prioritised the environmental portion above the other two, but during the past year we have expanded on this and decided to include sustainability in the word Responsibility. Responsibility from a wider perspective – providing transparency throughout the production chain all the way to the end consumer.
Each year, two billion pairs of tights are produced, worn once and then discarded. This makes the textile industry the second most polluting industry in the world. Landfills everywhere are full of poorly made and cheap non-biodegradable textiles - and it’s getting worse.
Swedish Stockings has a vision of being the world’s first circular hosiery brand. Meaning we want to be able to produce a new pair of tights from an old pair. As of now, we are not quite there yet. However, we are looking at new ways to produce our hosiery, researching new materials and production methods and are also researching how we can make the full circle one day soon. Meanwhile, we continue to produce our products from recycled and innovative materials including recycling all tights we can get our hands on.
Our brand mission is a big undertaking. And it’s only possible through constantly striving to be at the forefront, finding new and innovative ways to lead the way forward and acting role model on all levels.
The people and factories we work with are carefully selected by Swedish Stockings. Many factors are taken into consideration when we decide to take on new suppliers or manufacturers. Some of these factors are:
Their commitment to environmental issues / Their commitment to their employees / Their work with sustainable materials / Geographical location and economics.
Currently, our entire supply and production happens within Europe. Our long-term ambition is to work with factories even closer to Sweden, but at the moment the expertise of making the highest quality thin tights, whilst meeting our demands, are in Italy. And since our biggest markets are Sweden, UK, Germany and the US, our Italian producers are strategically placed.
The polyamide we source to create our stockings are not raw materials, rather they are pre-consumer or post-consumer waste materials from nylon industries, such as excess remnants from the sportswear industries. Although nylon is a non-natural, oil-based product, by using nylon remnants from other industries in our stockings, we save this excess waste from being sent to landfills to never (or rather, very slowly) decompose.
All our materials are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning that the raw material must comply with the laboratory test criterias that ensures that it does not contain harmful substances that can be dangerous to humans and nature, this ensures that the products meet the ecological requirements.
The natural fibre materials used for the products have been produced in accordance with organic farming standards recognized by GOTS and processed according to GOTS. We are also certified with Bluesign, which implies acting responsibly and sustainably in regard with people, the environment and resources. This ensures consistent transparency and traceability for all processing steps down to raw materials.
To clean up the hosiery industry and provide a better alternative to modern pantyhose we started Swedish Stockings Recycling Club in 2016. With the ambition to divert stockings from ending up in a landfill, anyone can send us their worn, torn or used tights and we will grind them down and add them as filler material together with recycled fibreglass.
The new, up-cycled material is then used to make tanks for use as oil and grease traps in the commercial industry. Glamorous? No. Sustainable? Yes! Last year we also launched a series of tables made from the same material, using the same technique.
We estimate that we have recycled thousands of pantyhose since inception, and our goal is to completely close the loop in our production, to be able to fully regenerate old pantyhose into new ones, when the technology exists.
Innovations by Swedish Stockings is a promise to ourselves, the industry and our customers that we will continue to push the boundaries of innovation in hosiery no matter what, either through products or concepts.
The hosiery industry needs to change! Both nylon and elastane are oil products and release a lot of gases during production. Being one of our biggest fashion consumables, the hosiery production process needs to be better and smarter. With the Innovations product line we show that you need no virgin resources for it whatsoever.
Want to know more about our sustainability work. You can read our Sustainability Edit in full here