After launching their seamless and ladder-resistant tights The Bold two years ago, the founders of London-based legwear label Hēdoïne, Anna Rauch and Alexandra Tymann, want to take another step towards sustainability and do something about the throwaway culture in the fashion industry: for fall they are launching compostable tights that are also resistant to ladders. The product in a 30 denier quality is to be the starting signal for a complete biodegradable tights collection.
Made using biodegradable yarns, Hēdoïne claims that its biodegradable tights can be composted at the end of their life on legs via an anaerobic digestion. The brand plans to facilitate this as part of their recycling project, whereby tights can be returned to the brand to undergo the most accurate biodegradation process.
The biodegradation process begins and continues to develop within three to five years under these anaerobic conditions. Bacteria breaks down the nylon into organic matter, biomass and biogas – both of which can be exploited as new environmental resources and be used to generate electricity.
The tights are certified as biodegradable, however the brand is aware that 100% biodegradable yarn does not currently exist in the tights world. Tight yarns are made up of a combination of nylon and elastane. Whilst the nylon used in the biodegradable tights does indeed degrade over a three to five years, the elastane component takes longer to decompose via standard waste management process.
The biodegradable tights will be available in September.
Currently, all available biodegradable nylon requires a waste management treatment under anaerobic conditions. According to Hēdoïne, this is the only process that ensures biodegradation, as the fibers would not break down if disposed of in landfill. Most countries throughout Europe break down general waste under these conditions, which means that the majority of customers will be able to dispose of their tights via their regular waste.
However, Hēdoïne have also strategically set up a commercial agreement with a waste management facility to ensure that individuals who live in countries or regions that do not facilitate anaerobic conditions can still access a right end of life treatment for their tights by sending them back to Hēdoïne for processing.
Hēdoïne’s new biodegradable tights are produced in Italy using recycled water and are also Oeko-Tex-certified.
“Ultimately, we want to close the loop – which is where biodegradable tights came to be key. Tights should feel good and do good – the future is biodegradable,” Anna Rauch and Alexandra Tymann say.
The biodegradable tights, available in 100% recyclable packaging, will be distributed via the Hēdoïne web shop from September 2021; the retail price is €33.
In addition, a new recycling program is in the wings at Hēdoïne, where tights and/or leggings of any brand can be sent in and then recycled into items such as thermal insulation or tires. In exchange, the customer receives a voucher for the web shop.