We talk to one of the women behind the brand that’s finding a solution for all those holes in your hoisery. Founded in 2013, Swedish Stockings set out to reinvent the pantyhose industry by creating long-lasting stockings made using recycled nylon. On top of all that, they're produced in solar powered, zero-waste factories. Pretty innovative right?
We wanted to know more so we sat down with co-founder Nadja Forsberg to discuss three areas: the stockings themselves, the Swedish, and the sustainable practices of the company.
Nowadays, pantyhose are such neglected and compromised products. In the past there was a feeling of quality and luxury to pantyhose. We wanted to bring that feeling back.
What is Swedish Stockings in three words?
Innovative, modern, sustainable.
How many ripped stockings did it take for you to decide you needed to make something more durable and sustainable?
Many! I have always been a big user of pantyhose and they usually rip after one or two times of wearing them. Every time they ripped I had to throw them away and I felt so bad. That’s why I wanted to create something sustainable.
How do you make sure the fabric is long-lasting? Why do your stockings rip less quickly than regular ones?
That has to do with the fact that we knit all of our products in 3D and we use the best available elastane. We see quality as an important part of our sustainability focus.
Has sustainability always played an important role in your lives?
Absolutely! For me, it started with things like what I ate and applied on my skin. I still think it is quite hard to find good sustainable fashion brands. You really have to do proper research to find them.
Do you like the fashion or the sustainability side of your work better?
I like both! The sustainability part makes the work more than just fashion. It makes it more exciting. If that wasn’t there, I think I might get bored.
Your factory is located in Italy near Lake Garda, which sounds rather lovely – you say it’s zero waste, how does this work?
It means that no material goes to waste or ends up in landfills. They make sure to use everything they produce.
You use recycled yarn for your stockings. What does that production process look like?
Our factory collects waste and floor material from polyamide products. They melt it down and renew it into nylon yarn.
What is the most sustainable element in your production process?
In general, the colouring process within the fashion industry is known to be quite dirty. Mostly because of the huge amounts of water being used. We clean all the water used within our colouring process, so it can be reused time after time.
What is the best thing people can do with that stack of old ripped tights in the back of their closet?
Send them to us! We grind them and then they become grease traps in glass fibre tanks. It is not very glamorous, but this way we prevent them from ending up on landfills. Our biggest mission, and something we work very hard on, is being able to separate polyamide from elastane to make new pantyhose out of our old ones. That way we would be able to close our loop!
You can send your old hoisery to: BIA HÄRDPLAST, ATTN: SWEDISH STOCKINGS RECYCLING CLUB ORRTOP, 73189 KÖPING SWEDEN
Do you personally prefer wearing tights or trousers?
Tights for sure!
What is the worst stocking style faux pas?
Nude coloured pantyhose that are a lot darker than your individual skin tone.
Is there anything you could improve in the production process to become even more sustainable?
Our main focus at the moment is on being able to recycle our disposed pantyhose and making them into new ones. To be able to do that we need to separate elastane from polyamide and that is very hard. We are now part of a science program called Mistra Future Fashion, which focuses on this.
Sweden is known to be a country of beautiful nature and even more beautiful people with impeccable minimalistic style. A country where the winters are dark and the summers light. As a company that is headquartered in the heart of the country, Stockholm, we want to know what the favourites of Swedish Stockings are.
What is Sweden's influence on the Stockings?
Sweden’s nature, aesthetics, women and style.
Sweden is often mentioned as a frontrunner in the sustainability and eco area. What do you think other countries can learn from the Swedish way of life?
I think it all starts with implementing policies on a political level. Due to Sweden’s stable situation on many levels we have been able to focus on sustainability for a long time. Also, as consumers we are pretty good at asking ourselves questions like: Where is this made? How is it produced? What kind of material is this? Does this pricing seem fair? Etc.
Now for your favourites:
... place to take a walk? Djurgården in Stockholm is pretty amazing!
... cafe for Fika? Snickarbacken 7. This place is not just a café, but also a concept store and exhibition space.
... bakery? Fabrique is one of those Swedish bakeries with shelves and counters stacked with beautiful bread and sweet treats. They have several bakeries around town, but we prefer the one on Nybrogatan. (Good to know: Fabrique also has a few shops in London!)
... green space? Again, Djurgården. There is just so much to see and do.
... organic beauty shop? I personally like Oikos hudvård on Kungsholmen.
... lunch cafe? Rosendal in Djurgården is a café in a greenhouse where they grow their own ingredients and bake their own bread. Ecoist on Sibyllegatan sells organic and fresh food. Yoga centre Yogayama on Jungfrugatan has a Koloni café inside, which sells healthy juices, fresh salads and raw snacks.
... thing to do? Walk to Gamla Stan and have afternoon tea at Chaikhana, which is best in autumn. Or take long walk on Djurgården and visit Fotografiska museet. A must do during the summer is taking a boat to the Archipelago (a cluster of islands and rocks) from Nybrokajen.
There are always those days where you are in the mood to exchange the city life for the country life. Sweden seems like the perfect place to do so.
... lake? Siljan in Dalarna.
... season? Autumn, when all the trees turn yellow and red.
... place to hike? The Carl Von Linnaeus trails in Uppsala and the mountain trail Jämtlandstriangeln.
... photogenic village? Sigtuna is very beautiful. It is a village filled with cute coloured wooden houses not too far north of Stockholm.
... road for a roadtrip? Driving along the coast in Bohuslän is very idyllic.
... forest? Åkulla Bokskogar, a nature reserve in the southwest of Sweden.
You can shop Swedish Stocking’s HERE
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