The Eco-Friendly Side of Our Hosiery Production
At VienneMilano, we're enthusiastically about all things thigh highs, stockings, and beyond (within the realm of legwear!) We'd like to do them justice in every way possible, cherishing them for what they are in all their varied and vibrant glory while respecting their history and helping lead them into the future.
And it's no secret that the future of fashion depends on sustainability. With terms like circular, ethical, and slow fashion coming onto the scene, we thought it was about time we delved into how we're doing our bit to keep thigh highs fashionable, feasible, and absolutely fabulously eco-friendly.
Disclaimer: While we may be deeply in love with thigh highs, we're not quite experts in eco-conscious fashion … yet. We do our best to be conscious of the processes involved, and we try to do what's right for our customers and the environment, but we know there's a way to go, which is why this is a story that hasn't ended yet, but it's one we hope to keen eco-friendly thread throughout (do not excuse the pun.)
So, here's What We've Been up to...
As the base of all of our many beloved styles, we respect our fabrics deeply and pay special attention to their production. From start to finish, we know how each of our styles comes to life. We work with NILIT to source fabric for some of our styles (hint: ILARIA, VITTORIA, and CONCETTA) They just so happen to be well-known for their dedication to clean energy, water conservation, social responsibility, zero waste, pollution elimination, and resource conservation, meaning that their high-quality signature nylon of 6.6 fibers works wonderfully in thigh highs.
Something in the WaterYou might be surprised to hear that water plays a huge role in stocking production. Of course, this comes with implications for water wastage and pollution. However, thanks to our nifty suppliers, we've managed to sidestep these issues.
Here's a secret: Stockings are dyed. What starts with white thread (almost always) takes on its truly vibrant form when the dye is added post-production.
Of course, as with most fabric dying, the process involves water as a medium for the fabric and dye to mix. You might think this dyed water is a write-off with all of that pigmentation, pollutants, and other particles that are surely impossible to remove?
Here's where, of all things, marvelous microbes come into play. Through a process known as Bioremediation, these little microorganisms “chew” up the pollutants and pigmentation and essentially purify the water in the process.
Fortunately, our suppliers employ this technology in their production processes, meaning every drop of water is like brand new – ready to be used again!
Not to boast about our suppliers some more, but many of them also have an eye for renewable energy and have thus installed solar panels installed at their facilities. They also have a smart system in place to avoid wasting the steam they use to iron the products. Instead of just vaporizing off into the air, the hot steam is used to generate electricity that provides heating for the company buildings.
Fair and Square
Italy is a country with fantastic employment protections that are laid out in the country’s Constitution. All the necessities are outlined there, from the right to work to fair pay alongside maximum hours and guaranteed paid vacations. The Constitution protects minors, women, the elderly, the disabled, and those injured on the job. It also covers the right to assemble/strike alongside stating the minimum working age as fifteen.
Furthermore, since 1987, Italian employee's maximum working hours has been set to 48 hours a week. In line with most European countries, all employed Italian women can take five months of paid maternity leave (congedo di maternità in Italian.)
When it comes to paid leave days, Italians can enjoy 8 of them a year. This is in addition to public holidays. Workers also have the right to paid study leaves for the duration of 150 hours over 3 years to attend educational courses.
On Our Way
We're not quite there yet, but we’re on the right track. Wherever and whenever possible, we try to make stockings and thigh highs that bit greener so that you can enjoy their style and quality entirely with a squeaky clean conscience.