If you attended primary school in the 80s or 90s you would definitely be familiar with the "3 Rs" : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. You may have noticed that of recent times there have been some additions to that mantra: Refuse (opting to forego unnecessary accoutrements such as plastic bags) and Rot (referring to the art of returning biodegradable substances to the earth, also known as composting) to name a few. But as wonderful as all of these strategies are, some have seen the need for a whole new category. One that sits somewhat outside the box:
Re-thinking certainly requires some of the deepest thinking that the sustainability cycle calls us to. The ability to be able to see things as they should be, not just as they are. This is something that a whole lot of people are beginning to do as they look at the fundamental structure of the fashion industry worldwide and consumerism in general.
What I love about Swedish Stockings is that not only have they rethought what stockings can be made of and how they can be made - they have rethought the concept that stockings are a disposable item by investing in the expertise and technology to create a product that is high quality and made to last.
In a world saturated with throw-away fashion (and, apparently, according to the contents of my local council clean-up, throw-away furniture!), durability does not seem to be a design priority. A quick perusal of your local op shop will give you some indication of the amount of fast fashion coming through their doors. Multiply that on a global scale and don't forget to add the 23kg per Australian dumped each year plus the tonnes of dead stock bound for incinerators and the like and, well, there you have it - a culture of disposability!
Thankfully, today we have brands, like Swedish Stockings, slowing things down and designing for longevity. Swedish Stockings does this by using high quality, durable materials, such as Nilit Ecocare, which is not only fabulous because it is made from recycled pre-consumer sportswear waste, but retains all the qualities of the highest quality virgin nylon material. I can personally attest to their snag resistance - this coming from someone who, as a department store cosmetics consultant, was required to wear pantyhose on the job and went to the length of keeping a "pantyhose diary" to try and crack the code as to which brand might possibly last more than two wears!
Another aspect which the average person might not associate with sustainability is viability of the design and construction - how well does it fulfil it's intended purpose? Does it fit properly? Is it comfortable? Does it look good? The last question is often the only question we ask of fast fashion. But how likely are we to care properly for an item that is uncomfortable to wear or fits poorly? We're not at all likely to spend the time or money to repair such an item and therein lies the inherent disposability of fast fashion. This is the phenomenon which we are rethinking when we choose quality over quantity.
Hosiery is not traditionally an item that is associated with comfort! But, again, Swedish Stockings has invested in the technologies required to create a product that is a pleasure to wear - something worth putting out a few extra dollars for. The majority of Swedish Stockings products are knitted using 3D technology to create tights and pantyhose with optimal body-contouring fit and texture. They come with broader waistbands and flat seams for comfort and toe reinforcements to prevent unauthorised peeping out!
All in all, Swedish Stockings are on a mission to make us rethink our belief that fashion and more specifically, stockings, are made to be thrown away. Do you find yourself thinking of fashion as a disposable item? Maybe it's time to rethink...