TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: "Next time my sockings rip, which they will, I shall replace them with a pair which are made ethically with the planet in mind"
Living a relatively nomadic lifestyle through my 20s taught me to minimize my wardrobe and cross-seasonal items became the key to my external existence.
The main trick to making this type of wardrobe work, particularly in the winter, are stockings, which transform summer gear to winter gear effortlessly.
Stockings and other basics are things we don't usually want to spend big money on, a pack of three stockings made with zero thought about the of their creation on the planet, by people who are working as slaves in dire conditions, costs us about $1.00.
One pair of sustainably + humanitarian-ly produced tights made by a conscious company like PACT or SWEDISH STOCKINGS will run you $17.00, so it is no wonder people opt for the cheaper choice.
But it comes at a cost to your conscious and your karma:
[Less Money, Mo' Problems]The problem with the cheaper choice is simple. If you're not paying for it, someone else is.
If you think about the wholesale model for most fashion items, the pricing structure looks something like this from the cost price: Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale. The retailer who purchases the item at the wholesale price will then mark it up 50% or more and that's the pice you purchase it at. So they pay probably about 0.50 cents or less for the three pairs you got for $1.00, which means the materials, labor, expenses and profit for the three tights have to be worked into that amount.
It takes about an hour to sew just one of my Eco Clutches, but they're more complex than tights (I think). So lets say it takes 10 minutes to sew three pairs of tights (this doesn't include the people producing or selling the material, the pattern cutter, the expenses for the factory owner, or the factory owner's profits, which are probably about 0.25 cents for three tights). If we divide the remaining 'profits' (0.25 cents) from the three tights by four (diving it up between the material expense, labor (cutter/sewer), and factory expenses equally) that's 0.06 cents to the person who actually sewed the tights. About 0.02 cents per pair of tights. And this is just assuming the rest of the profits are dolled out equally (which it probably isn't) between the four other parties and that it takes 10 minutes to sew three pair of tights (which I'm making a low time estimate on).
So, according to my calculations, if you're paying a buck for tights, the person who made them is likely making less than 0.30 CENTS PER HOUR, which means they're likely walking away with about $3.60 when they go home after 12 hours of non-stop sewing ... and that's a generous estimation.
[Landfill Love]Cheap stockings don't last long, we all know this, that's why we buy them for $1.00 in bulk in the first place. We wear them a few times and then they rip for one reason or another, and we chuck them in the bin.
Conventional cheap stockings are made of nylon and spandex which are manufactured synthetic textiles (which also include polyester, spandex, and rayon) and take up to 200 years to breakdown once we've tossed them. That's right, your shitty sucky stockings are likely going to outlive you. And it isn't just you and me that's tossing them, we as a western society throw out approximately 2 BILLION pairs of stockings each year.
[Planet Pollution]Most of our clothing contains toxic dyes, if anything isn't off white, it's been dyed, and if there isn't a tag indicating otherwise, then each time you (or your children/babies) sweat, you're ingesting those toxins through you skin. Which is extremely unhelpful to your health.
To top it off, clothing production uses a sh*t ton of water. For the production of one single pair of tights in the fast fashion world (your buck-for-three tights) you're looking at at least 6 litres of water (this is the amount of water it takes conventional dye to dilute, likely more is used). On top of that, energy, of the non-renewable variety, is burned.
Lucky for us lazy butts who don't know how to make our own fabrics or tights, there are some beautiful humans creating sustainable options for us, and I can tell ya from experience, these bad boys don't break like their cursed cousins. Furthermore, when (if) they do, they're biodegradable.
Plus, instead of being made with the tears of women and children in wretched working conditions, they are made sustainably with the help of renewable energy (not human renewable energy, but wind turbine renewable energy) and are created without the use of toxins and massive water waste.
Eco + Ethical How? These are the sexy sheer kind us ladies sure do love. Swedish stockings make theirs from recycled yarn. Their collection is created in Italy in a cutting edge facility that drives a large part of their production with solar panels. The water used during their dyeing process (which is non-toxic) is purified and flows back into the agricultural landscape.
Where To Buy:
*OR - type 'buy Swedish Stockings' in your search bar and you'll get a retailer near you.
Eco + Ethical How? My mama bought me a pair of these for xmas and they're bad ass. Made from non-GMO organic cotton which is grown on family-run farms, they use non-toxic ingredients to produce their collection in a sweatshop free environment. Which just so happens to be ipowered by renewable energy (and hopefully Love).
Where To Buy:
*OR - type 'buy Swedish Stockings' in your search bar and you'll get a retailer near you. Your local outdoor or eco store should have them, for example Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada and Whole Earth Provisions in the USA
[KNOW SOME OTHER BEAUTIFUL BRANDS?]
Comment below and I'll add them to the pack of pretties.
Vintage Norwegian Sweater: THRIFTED
Vintage Fur Tippet: THRIFTED
High Waisted Shorts: THRIFTED
Tank Top: ALTERNATIVE APPAREL
Tights: SWEDISH STOCKINGS
Shoes: CRI DE COEUR