How to reuse / recycle old tights

Lindsay Miles
May 20, 2014
kirsty phillipson lowe hijacked by twins zero waste week ambassador
Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe
May 9, 2014
recycling old tights to store onions

recycling old tights to store onions

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!

Gardening

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

Sprouts!

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

Storage

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

Filters

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

Stuffing

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

Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss is founder of MyZeroWaste.com and ZeroWasteWeek.co.uk Both are leading websites for helping householders reduce landfill waste. Her work has attracted media stories and engagement in documentaries, film and radio both locally and abroad.

10 Comments

  1. dublinecolo says:

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

  2. emma says:

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

  3. Polly Milles says:

    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 says:

    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!

  6. Yanmei says:

    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. […]

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