The history of
tights In 1938, the
American chemical company DuPont patented a new, ground-breaking invention:
polyamide 66, more commonly known as Nylon. It is said to have been presented
as "strong as steel but thin as a web" and revolutionized the textile
industry. In the 1930s, fashion-conscious women had to choose between
expensive, delicate socks of silk, or cheap rayon stockings that twisted on the
leg. Millions of women longed for a durable stocking with a better fit, so, when
such a product emerged on the market in May 1940, success was inevitable.
Such was the
strength of the material that it was referred to as science's improvement of nature.
It was even used for war purposes in WWII, temporarily removing Nylon stockings
from the market.
While we still
recognise its valuable properties today, we’ve also noticed some problems. Its
production and its near indestructability do not make it environmentally
sustainable. Still, tights,
like any other fashion item, can be beautiful and functional. So how can we
take responsibility as producers and consumers?
When we talk about sustainability
and quality at Re_fabric, we include many different aspects.
For us, it is important to
focus as much on the environment, social responsibility, continuity, and
timelessness as on strength. We work together with our partners to create the
conditions for sustainable production and reduce our negative impact.
We strive for transparency in
our partnerships in order to create traceability both upstream and downstream.
All tights and socks we
produce are delicate and need a little more care than other garments, but we
spend a lot of time making sure that our yarns are as strong as the product
Our products consist of 60-90%
recycled polyamide in combination with elastane. We are constantly working on
increasing the proportion of recycled fibre in each product, to minimise our
negative impact on the environment. Recycling fibre from production waste saves
about 80% water and significant amount of energy, compared to producing virgin
fibre from oil. Water and energy savings are aspects that we aim to measure
carefully and will account for.
Our yarns are sheer and fine to create a beautiful product of very high quality compared to other yarns of their kind. Polyamide is a synthetic fibre, of which the most well-known brand is Nylon. 'The advantages of polyamide fibres being man-made is that you can give it the properties you need as you create it. This means that not all yarns based on polyamide fibres are the same, even though they are made of the same raw material. In our products we have used some "flat" yarns that are somewhat shiny and basically flat in their construction. They are a bit tougher and help with the strength of the socks. Some other yarns are textured, i.e. frizzy yarns. They help with the comfort and elasticity together with the elastane, which gives a good fit. In our yarns, the elastane yarns are covered with textured polyamide yarns. All yarns we use are made with advanced technology to ensure high quality, such as in strength, elasticity, and 'ability to maintain its shape'. The same goes for the socks, which are knitted in a factory holding the same high technical standards. This is to be able to maintain a controlled quality level, and to avoid production errors that create waste.
Most of our socks have a reinforced toe and girdle. We are working on introducing a 3D design in all our products to avoid running stitches. Our labels are also woven from yarns in recycled fibre.
All our factories and suppliers are quality and environmentally certified according to OEKO-TEX Steps, which guarantees continuity and traceability all the way from the raw material to the finished, packaged product. It also ensures that the chemicals necessary for dyeing and fixating etc. are approved in accordance with the REACH Regulation. No chemicals are used that are on the Swedish Chemicals Agency's list of prohibited chemicals or on the phase-out list. OEKO-TEX 100 ensures that no chemicals are harmful to the skin. All our suppliers have a zero-waste policy, which means that through production and material planning and careful quality assurance, material and other waste is prevented. Should there be any waste in the yarn production, the material goes back into production as recycling. The goal is that no trash should be sent to landfills or incineration plants, and not used for filling stock. All yarns are recycled from trash, which saves water and energy.
We use as
little packaging as possible.
packaging is as lightweight as possible and made from recycled paper. Where we
can, we try to remove it completely. For example, products sold through the
website come in less packaging because they do not require the same amount as
products that are sold in stores. We do not use any plastic in any of our
We also work
actively to minimize packaging during transportation. Both during transportation
from the manufacturing country to Sweden, as well as in distribution to our
All modes of transport
are chosen with care. We use trains as much as possible for our larger
deliveries. In Sweden, we use PostNord for delivery to consumers. As PostNord delivers
other products already, it is the most environmentally efficient alternative.
We all know
that far too much textile is thrown away. We also know that current collection and
recovery methods are not commercially sustainable, and that combustion of
synthetic materials is not an environmentally sustainable alternative.
We have tried
to create our own recycling program, but it is difficult to find options that
work. We still aim for a full recycling process in the near future, following
the development in waste management, collection and possible recycling methods
with great interest.
Environmental Protection Agency proposes new goals that specify what change is
needed to create a more sustainable textile consumption and waste management.
There are generational goals that suggest:
• The amount
of textile waste in residual waste should be reduced by 60% by 2025
• By 2025, 90%
of separately collected textile waste must be prepared for reuse or recycled
into new textiles.
environmental benefits of material recycling increase by optimizing parameters
materials replacing virgin materials
• the energy
demand in production being met by a non-fossil energy source
for separating mixed materials being developed and streamlined
actively monitoring these developments and applying them where we can, while
continuing to look carefully at our own business at every stage and developing
our knowledge in these areas