Fast fashion is what we call the segment of the fashion industry made up of generally cheaper, lower-quality and on-trend garments. Fast fashion brands are your low-end, High Street ones like Topshop, H&M and Zara. While they’re good for basic tees, socks and undies, or an easy, cheap outfit you don’t mind damaging on a night out, they’re notoriously bad for the environment.
The rate at which fast fashion brands design, produce and release garments is directly corollary to the sheer amount of textile waste created. Every year, the average Australian throws 27kgs of clothes into landfill. Across the world, that amounts to an average of 85% of all garments produced going in the bin. Plus, the average woman wears each item of clothing only 7 times before throwing it out.
So what makes fast fashion so profitable and so, well… fast? The continuous trend cycle, and the use of low-cost, synthetic fabrics, like nylon.
Nylon hosiery, introduced during the 1930s as a low-cost alternative to silk stockings, turned the textile industry on its head. Nylon is now used for everything from clothing to parachutes and even car parts. While it is infinitely recyclable, it is also dangerously unsustainable.
The production of nylon releases nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas and huge contributor to climate change. Because nylon is made from petrochemicals, washing nylon garments also emits harmful microfibres into our waterways, endangering marine life. With the right efforts and incentives, we could stop producing it entirely, and still have enough nylon to create new garments.
Cheaply-made hosiery is one of the biggest contributors to textile waste, because, as all women know, once a pair of tights get a ladder that runs, said pair has, unfortunately, run its course (pardon the pun), and must be retired. So hosiery is, by its very nature unsustainable, as the shelf life on legwear is less than a season.
So, what’s the solution? At a baseline, sustainable tights.
But there’s also recycling, and reducing the need for continuous buying. Our mission at The Legwear Co is to minimise the impact of the hosiery industry, by only creating legwear made from the highest quality materials, that doesn’t ladder or tear. This means that not only do you get maximum wear out of your pieces, making them a better economic choice for you, you’re also drastically reducing the amount of textile waste you contribute to landfill.
By making the investment, you’re lessening the need for continued purchasing. Plus, by selling our tights online only, we’re able to better trace our environmental impact. A win for you, a win for the environment, and a win for the slow fashion movement!
But it doesn’t stop there. We’re also dedicated to recycling as much hosiery waste as we can. That’s where our Sustainable Hosiery Initiative comes in.
Every customer is eligible to participate, and every brand of stocking you own can be recycled. All you have to do to get involved is buy sustainable tights online from us, then reach out and we’ll organise for your old pairs to be recycled, as they should be.