Sustainable fashion is having a moment. After years of fast fashion dominating the scene and subsequently polluting the environment, small designers and big companies alike are turning to more sustainable methods to produce everything from sneakers to jeans to T-shirts. And while all of these are important innovations, there's one long-standing, majorly unsustainable fashion piece that, until now, has forgone an eco overhaul: stockings.
Stockings and pantyhose are made primarily from nylon, an unsustainable fabric created through a coal-, water-, and energy-heavy process. Not only that, but stockings are notoriously flimsy fashion items, known from runs and holes that render them useless after just a few wears. In general, they are more or less considered disposable.
This isn't without consequence. Nylon is non-biodegradable and takes 30 to 40 years to fully decompose. That means all the stockings of office-attire past are likely still with us, sitting in landfills and leaching harmful chemicals into the environment.