How to reuse / recycle old tights


Over on Twitter @kissakerho asked what she could do with old tights. She wrote:

“I’ve got half a bin bag of tights that no longer fit me, and sadly they can’t even be recycled by Oxford. also, most of them are laddered :(“

It got me thinking about the issue of textiles.

Apparently textiles make up 12% of landfill sites. WRAP tell us we landfill 1.4 million tonnes of material per year.

So here are some ideas for reusing and recycling old tights. Please add yours to the list!


Tights must be a gardeners best friend! Use them to tie things together like sticks for a runner bean wigwam or tie trailing plants to a trellis


Growing sprouted seeds in a jam jar? Old tights stretched over the top of the jar are just what you need to drain out the water without losing your seeds down the sink

Two plus two

Two pairs of tights in the same colour? Cut the bag leg out and wear them together as a new pair – you’ll have two layers up top to keep you warm!

Know your onions

Back to the garden for harvesting. Hanging onions up in old tights, with a knot between each onion, is a tried and tested way of keeping them, and other root veggies, fresh


Storing the Christmas tree or a roll up camping mat? Stop things escaping by using tights as huge elasticated ties

Scented drawers

Make lavender bags and give them to your friends


For filtering yogurt to make cream cheese to sticking them over your vacuum hose to find lost objects, tights make great filters

Soap on a rope?

Put a bar of soap in them and tie to the shower so you never lose your soap again


If you, or someone you knows, are into arts and crafts, old tights make the perfect stuffing material for cushions and toys

Textiles bank

If they aren’t good enough for reuse you can still put them in a textiles bank where they will be shredded and used for stuffing material for industry. Find your nearest textiles recycling bank

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. dublinecolo on September 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for this great article. Have lots of old pairs! Re-filtering: They are also great for filtering fruits when making jam.

  2. emma on September 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I put loads of pairs of Black opaque Tights in a textile bank that have never even been worn they are not packaged ..will they still get shredded..?

    • Rachelle Strauss on September 26, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Hi Emma, I believe everything gets sorted, so these should be taken out and reused by someone who needs them đŸ™‚

  3. Polly Milles on October 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Bedding storage – Keep your spare duvet, pillows and blankets neat and tidy whilst in storage by using the waistband from your old pair of tights. Simply slip it around the rolled up bedding like a large ‘elastic band’.

  4. […] The longer you let your onions sit without chopping them up, the more they’ll start to peel layers all over your counter. Keep them in tact by hanging them in knotted sections along the leg of your old pantyhose!(Source: Zero Waste Week) […]

  5. Elaine on May 30, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Make a “chain” by crocheting using your fingers into a long length, then coil the chain around itself to make a flat mat, stitching as you go. This makes a warm mat to stand on, which will not rot on a damp surface. If you use several legs at a time, the thickness will be increased, and the mat thicker and softer, and better for kneeling on, such as when gardening. |Stuffing tights lightly into several legs, and plaiting 3 together can also produce a base to coil and stitch. The resulting mat is washable, and hard to destroy!

    • Rachelle Strauss on May 30, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      What a brilliant suggestion for avid gardeners, Elaine – thanks for sharing!

  6. Yanmei on August 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

    You could use them as a DIY hair tie.

  7. […] They don’t need to be chucked in the rubbish though. They can be used as stuffing for a toy or even used to hang up onions. There are lots of ways to recycle tights. […]

  8. Laura on December 18, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for all the ideas – I love the suggestion of using them to store onions!! And using for stuffing cushions or soft toys!

  9. Carole Donny on January 9, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    You can make a hair bun by cutting the toes off each leg and cut the top of each leg the insert one leg into another and roll up on themselves to form a neat doughnut; This is then used to make your hair into a nice thick bun.

  10. Angela on June 5, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Recycled Crafts has a mail in program for recycling nylon stockings, tights and pantyhose. You can send them an email for details at [email protected]

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