Q&A with Swedish Stockings

Written by Kajsa IngelssonNovember 20, 2018

As the winter is rolling around the corner (-5 yesterday damn it), i’m starting to restock my winter closet with essentials. Since I have been a suncat for the last 8 years there’s quite a few pieces I need, hosiery being one of the most important ones. You know me, I’m a girly girl and cant stop, wont stop wearing my dresses. All needed is to add a nice pair of stocking and a long coat and i’m sure i’ll make it thru winter….?

Being a eco warrior, I’m conscious to the fact that my new purchases need to be sustainable and organic. We vote with our money on what kind of world we want to live in everytime we purchase something, it’s really that simple. When I was searching for some new stockings, only one company came up! Apparently the hosiery business is quite the dirty one… You know me, I’m a curious cat so I reached out to Swedish Stockings to gain a little more insight into their unique, green company!

Tell us a bit about the idea that sparked the creation of swedish stockings!

Swedish Stockings was founded by Nadja Forsberg and Linn Frisinger 5 years ago after Nadja watched a documentary called The Lightbulb Conspiracy. In the documentary they talk about the planned obsolescence of objects, and hosiery was one of the mentioned items that are designed to not last. Nadja and Linn thought they they must do something about that and so SS was born!

What’s the sustainability issue with the nylon fabric used in other pantyhose?

Nylon is a synthetic material derived from the carbon chemicals found in either coal or petroleum. At its essence, nylon is a product of the oil industry and as we all know, oil is both a finite resource that is getting harder, more expensive and more harmful to extract, and it also releases greenhouse gas emissions into the air driving climate change.

How are you more green in the materials that you use?

We use recycled nylon in the majority of our tights. This is “more green” because rather than using virgin resources to create our products, we use resources that are considered waste. Our recycled nylon comes from pre and post consumer waste sources (i.e. excess waste material from nylon production, ghost nets, excess sportswear cutoffs).

When starting a company these days, do you feel like it’s important to be sustainable from the ground up or is there room to compromise?

You can’t run a company unless it makes you money. For us it has been much easier to be sustainable because this has always been part of our business model (i.e. the premium for being sustainable has always been considered and calculated in our prices). It’s much harder for companies that don’t have this business model already implemented to suddenly implement it.

What did you find the most challenging so far on your journey with swedish stockings?

When you grow fast and have extremely high ambitions as we do, it’s easy to struggle with the liquidity. Logistics is also a much heavier area then we expected.

What’s the idea behind your recycling club and how does it work?

We started our recycling club since there is no great way to dispose of hosiery today! Most of it ends up in garbages, which end up in landfills and that is harmful to the planet. Currently, there is no commercially viable way of separate nylon from elastane, so we can’t turn old pantyhose into new. But we still wanted to do something, so we started collecting old pantyhose, then we grind and melt them down to be used as filler material in fiberglass tanks. These tanks last for decades and your old pantyhose now has its lifeline extended in a new object!

For all the #ecowarriors with startup ambitions out there, what are your three top tips you would give to them in regards to starting a green company today?

Sustainable products and processes will be taken for granted for tomorrow’s customers. As an entrepreneur you have to make sure your product can compete on all levels, the sustainability factor isn’t enough. You also have to offer your customers the best quality and design (speaking from a fashion industry point of view, of course).

Just one more question, where can we buy us a pair?

We are available internationally in stores and at our online shop!