You Can Stop Wearing Nylons. You’re Welcome.


Melanie – You’re free!

So first of all, thank G*d nylons are headed the way of the shoulder pad.  She or He created a place for the once aggrandizing apparel, and that place isn’t the mall or your

shoulder and this century he carved a path for the nylon to follow.

We’ve stopped buying nylons (sales have plummeted – by 47% for control top and 59% for knee-highs).¹  And we’ve stopped wearing them too.  We wear more pants now and just as important we are more comfortable baring our skin.  More work places, save banks or law firms, have come around to tolerate more casual attire.  I wonder if this has anything to do with more businesses coming around to tolerate more female bosses….

Well this female boss did a little lookin’ (I have two little minions I gave birth to = boss), and discovered it takes 30 – 40 years for nylons to decompose.

Aahh!!    That’s the waste-phobe’s surprise equivalent to finding a cockroach under your sink.

30 – 40 years?!  For something that is literally rendered useless within the first hour of use?  Let’s see how I’ve run nylons the day I opened them:  simply pulling them on, contact with a wayward fingernail or unruly toenail, contact with my Jeep Wrangler, contact with a toddler, friggin’ contact with anything!

Run-city here!

But one thing nylons are good for is keeping a girl warm.  Office buildings are cold.  Sometimes it’s to keep your servers from overheating.  Sometimes it’s just a hold over from the Mad Men workplace – dudes wear coats and ties, ladies wear sleeveless, floral sundresses.  The guys are hot, crank up the AC and the chicks freeze their asses off.

So what’s a girl to do?**

Use cotton tights.

If you can manage it, organic cotton tights.

Cotton only hangs around the compost post bin for four to five months²; nylons, per contra, stick around for about a long as I’ve been drinking alcohol now.

So now what to do with that box of nylons my girls love to play with?

First of all, rescue your black opaques and back-seam stockings (you sexy girl you!).  No point in getting rid of those until you snag them on that rough part under your cheap, particle board desk or three minutes into your GNO you had secretly hoped would turn into a ONS, respectively.

Now, on to nylon reuse.

Compost tea is waaayy too hippy-urban farmer for me but old nylons can be used as your teabag.

Cheap camera lens, anyone?

I’m never going to store that many onions but this is an option.

I’ve read that some use nylons as a pond skimmer, or to clean up oil spills, or as a fan belt replacement.  I’m not keeping one in my car to replace my fan belt because I don’t know where to find the fan belt or even what a fan belt really does so having one in my car in case of an emergency, taking away precious space devoted to Cheerios, single size 4 socks, and 800 drawings from my daughter’s preschool is ludicrous.

But I would use it:

  • To better store tubes of wrapping paper (until I finally use up the last of it)
  • As a delicate dish scrubber for my non-stick sauté pan (old knee-highs are more manageable)
  • As stuffing for crafts or teddy bear surgery
  • To better store Christmas ornaments

And here are some more things, including the fan belt replacement and pond skimmer ideas, you can do with old nylons.

**Turn down the damn AC at work anyway.  The women’s movement, passive aggressiveness and the environment will all be winners.


April 28, 2015

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.