Purposing to support sustainability and our planet. Lycra, as it’s used in hosiery, is one of the most common and fragile of materials. Throughout my childhood in Russia, I saw my grandmother reusing ripped tights for all sorts of domestic uses. For this fashion story "Grandma Stories", we were inspired by the versatility and fragility of hosiery, conceptualizing ideas beyond what we typically see it used for.
Chapter 1: Household Usage
Bag for onions
Due to their friable nature, onions are better stored in a sealed, dry bag. What better than an old pair of tights.
Straw tends to peel, therefore the “shorts” from your tights would do a great job holding broom ends together.
Senga Nengudi’s work was an inspiration as an easy transition from the gallery to the apartment. Tights attached to the walls look impressive and can be used for the floors as lycra collects more dust than any Swiffer.
Chapter 2: Rethinking the hosiery
My grandmother would spend her rainy days in the countryside crafting.
One of the most memorable items she made were rugs. By cutting a few pairs of old tights into tiny elastics, she would make fun, durable rugs. For this story, I made one too, channeling my grandmother’s skills here in New York.
Bras and hair ties
Using the same technique, I also experimented by making a bra for one of the outfits. Leftover elastics were made for the hairstyles.
It’s very easy to get a hole in your tights. My grandmother used to do her stitching artwork on the hole. Thicker wool creates a special design that feels ornamental. Just like a healed wound, the patch reminds you of each small incident that happened during the life of your tights.
Chapter 3: Conclusion
Lycra, like many other materials, can be reused without going through a recycling process. We can build a better world by being more mindful of what we throw away – instead finding creative ways to re-use items while having fun!