What is "Biodegradable tights"?
I have tested the
Four Twenty Two Antibacterial Biodegradable tights with Aloe Vera for you...
Here is the result as a conversation with Oliver Veleski, co-founder and owner of Four Twenty Two, to know a bit more about those tights, alined with my other concern on #whomademyclothes
Me - Oliver, thanks a lot for accepting to send me two samples of your tights. I discovered them through social network and got very curious about this concept: biodegradable, made with aloe vera and anti-bacterial. Last month I was in a charity shop when I saw a vintage box of tights, maybe from the '80s, mentioning having aloe vera. I got surprised to see that it was not something new to use aloe vera. Could you tell me when Four Twenty Two started and where this all adventure comes from?
Oliver - 4 years ago we didn’t even know each other and today (the 4 of us) launched the most revolutionary product in the hosiery industry… We often go back in time and talk just to justify the fact that we’ve met for a reason and that that reason today is named Four Twenty Two. Everything started on a ski trip, where the 4 of us got their heads tight around the idea that we need to make something revolutionary, something impactful something that will not reflect only on our life’s but will have a bigger impact. Brainstorming was all we were doing, checking every possible industry or product area when the mastermind (Sanja Lazarevska – Owner and Co-founder) of all this came up with the information that there is an Italian company that started producing the first “smart” biodegradable yarn… From that moment we were fully focused on developing this product, from a brand name, visual identity to product placement. We’ve worked for 2 years developing, researching, testing and prototyping because we wanted to deliver the best product we could and we did it! When it comes to the content of our tights we must admit that we’ve tried to answer every possible issue that a future consumer could have. We used aloe vera because we wanted to offer more than a regular pair of tights, we wanted our customers to feel special and to keep their skin fresh and nurtured (we all know the benefit from the aloe, we just found a smart way to use it). But that was not enough for us since we wanted to make this product even more beneficial for our customers and we’ve found the best antibacterial organic colours so we can dye the tights without harming the nature…
M - It has been a few months I am using your tights, and I really enjoy your products. My first impression was being impressed by their softness. One day I was making fun of my boyfriend and put the tight on my head like a bank robber, and I got literally stopped in motion by the smell of the tights. It smells amazing, I started to compare with others and I have to say they were not smelling anything like. Maybe because of some chemicals that other industry use. I was reading you are using anti-bacterial organic colours, could you tell us more about it and its impact on the environment?
O - “The impact” was the main trigger that made us going forward with this innovation. When we started researching the hosiery industry we got horrified from the fact that the regular tights take from 50 – 200 years to decompose (and we are not talking for a complete decomposing) while our product has the ability to decompose in only 5 years. Using the smart yarn made us think how we can make this product even better and that’s how we came to the idea to use organic colours that will offer antibacterial and cosmetic effect to the consumer but also will not pollute the nature after dyeing the yarn. And the aloe came at last because we needed the cherry on the top, a nice fresh layer that will keep the customer's skin fresh and nurtured.
M - Could explain a little more about the process to create antibacterial organic colour or the one you are using?
O - The process is a bit complex to explain in a single sentence. Its a 20 page procedure how you combine organic colors with Aloe Vera gel that ends up on a products with cosmetic effect to the end user. Shortly the answer will be...The material goes trough several water treatments before dying the yarn with the organic color. Every yarn dying needs to go under several procedures (preparation - washing the material, different temperatures treatment, material softeners, steaming (this helps for the material elasticity) and dying at the end using color formulation that was initially invented in 1856 - today that formulation has several changes in ifs content but it remained organic and safe for the environment.
M - Tights are vinculated to the beginning of planned-obsolescence. It was about weakening nylon, making it less resistant and also low the quantity of DEN. By creating biodegradable tights you really embraced a part of the problem around tights consumerism. The other side is the quantity if DEN. You exclusively offer 40 DEN, could you explain this choice?
O - The 40 DEN was our starting point as we found out that that is the most commercial DEN on the market. Currently, our supplier is developing different quantity in DEN which means that FourTwentyTwo will come in much more colours and DEN in the near future.
M - One of the main topic around fashion and sustainability that I like to mention, is that sustainable clothing is seen as a boring fashion. During Chrismas time, I saw flowering on many micro-influencers Instagram accounts, a promotion of fancy tights offered by a popular socks brand. Some luxury houses also made their own ones using their logo. Have you ever imagine a special capsule of your tights? Would it be possible with the materials you are using?
O - Every idea is a new challenge for us and you will be surprised how many ideas are on the waiting list to be tested. But we will keep you in the loop every time we come up with something new and interesting!
M - A very interesting point about purchasing tights from your brand, is that they come along with a wash machine purse, the washbag. You recommend to wash them separately and in cold water. I guess it is to preserve the colour? How often would you recommend to wash them?
O - We’ve heard that many tights users “lost” their pair of tights in a single wash and we wanted to change that and that’s how the bag was introduced, as a tool to extend the product life and the keep everything in one place. When it comes to the number of washing cycles we cannot say an exact number since that is more a personal choice, but we recommend using the bag each time with a soft detergent and cold water.
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Additional information are given on the packaging with size chart that can help you to make your choice.