OK todays post is not exactly the most exciting of subjects but I guess at this time of year we all wear tights, I would certainly consider them a wardrobe essential. Since I started wearing only ethical and sustainable clothing, tights is one of the areas, that I am afraid, I haven’t made any effort with at all. I already have a drawer full of tights and so there is little point in replacing them until they are no longer any good, but I suppose I have also just assumed that there isn’t a wearable and affordable ethical/ sustainable alternative. I have decided to make it the first post in my Ethical Fashion Essentials series in which I try and find some workable ethical and sustainable alternatives to some wardrobe essentials. I can’t promise to find all of the answers but I am going to try my best!
Sternlein Organic Opaque Tights - £24 at Fashion Conscience
These tights are available in black, burgundy, grey blue and navy (although black is currently out of stock). They are made in Germany from 93% organic cotton. Features include fitted feet, flat seams, square back panel and knitted waistband for comfort.
Monsoon Tights - from £5
Monsoon have a fantastic selection of very afforable tights including these 80 denier magenta ones and some thicker options too. Whilst they are not actually made from a sustainable fabric, Monsoon does have some good ethics and was actually flagged as one of the most ethical retailers on the high street.
Natural Collection Organic Cotton Tights from Ethical Superstore
I was quite excited by the option of striped tights in this range but if that is not your thing, they also have plain tights in 10 different colours. These tights are again made from 93% organic cotton in Germany. Each seam at the end of the toes is hand stitched to create as flat a seam as possible. Also they are currently reduced to £14.95 in the sale!
I have always considered wearing tights from a charity shop a definite no no. But I was amazed to discover that Oxfam has a great selection of new in their packet tights. I assume that these tights have been donated and so buying something that otherwise might be thrown away is a sustainable choice.Buying them will also help to support some of the very worthwhile work of Oxfam. Cancer Research also have a selection of BNWT tights in their online shop with prices starting a just over a pound!
Bamboozle Tights by Braintree Hemp at Amnesty International – £12.50
Bamboo is not only considered a sustainable fabric but it is also supersoft, warm but breathable and comfortable, the perfect choice for tights. These tights are made from bamboo, organic cotton and spandex and are available in purple and black. Again they have the added benefit that you are supporting a charity.
All in all I have been really pleasantly surprised by the choice and affordability of the tights that I found. Some where a little more expensive than I might usually buy but as they are really high quality, I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for the luxury of comfort. I think with tights one of the best and easiest ways that you can be sustainable is by looking after them and making them last. All tights seem to contain a percentage of synthetic fibre so will not easily break down after use. For delicate tights I usually stuff mine inside a sock to wash them so that they don’t get pulls. Buying higher quality may also help them to last longer although this doesn’t always equate.
The one area that I couldn’t find a good ethical/ sustainable alternative was with pattened tights. I love wearing patterned tights and think they are a great way to make lots of different outfits with one dress or skirt. But Pretty Polly are an iconic British brand and still manufacture their tights in Britains largest textile manufacturing plant in the UK. For some supporting the UK economy and being sure of where they are made (in a factory governed my UK employment laws) kind of makes them ethical. Any how in the absence of an alternative, I would go with these for when I occasionally want to treat myself to a patterned pair of tights. They have an amazing selection which is available at My Tights including the very popular Henry Holland collection.
So what do you think? would you buy ethical tights?
With warmest wishes
ps this post does contain some affiliate links