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Shannen Maria Samuel unveils her new circular fashion initiative 'HOLEY TIGHTS'

It’s not often the fashion industry champions a cause with meaningful fervor, often bandwagoning on civil rights issues after a light bulb comes on and some executive decides there’s profit to be made. Brands like Doc Martins and Nike epitomize this hypocrisy, toting vegan shoes among a smorgasbord of leather and large portraits of Colin Kaepernick on billboards despite having far from diverse workforce

However, once in a while an optimistic beam of light shines through among the abyss and highlights someone genuinely working to make a positive change within their field, unimpeded by the devious temptations offered by our unjust world. Shannen Maria Samuel, a fashion designer originally hailing from the Isle of Man and now based in South-London, is known for her work promoting the use of recycled materials in fashion by “creating playful one off garments with an eerie twist, each piece with an intriguing story to tell”. Despite staging a fashion show during extinction rebellion's shut down of central London, garnering her work much attention, Shannen has not stopped her mission to promote circular fashion and her vision for a sustainable fashion industry. 

HOLEY TIGHTS is Shannen’s latest venture, a circular fashion initiative designed to raise awareness and tackle the pollution of nylon tights. Being derived from petrochemicals means that nylon is not able to decompose once having been thrown away, causing many unwanted tights to end up floating in the ocean or forever filling up societies many landfill sights. The full environmental impact of nylon as a material can be found here.

The 'HOLY TIGHTS' initiative encourages consumers to recycle their unwanted nylon tights by donating them to the collection, allowing them to watch as their once unloved dust collecting tights that sat at the back of their cupboard turn into something new and beautiful, alongside a thank you note from Shannen herself and a discount from her online store.

The initiative is key for elevating the issue of tights & nylon pollution. The project offers an easy route to circularity for consumers that may not typically be 'eco- conscious', as throwing away laddered 'single use' tights is very much a common occurrence within today's society. There are many concerns that have been voiced by industry experts, in regards to the negative aftermath of tights towards the environment. However, the reaction has triggered an outcry to create new biodegradable tights, the HOLEY TIGHTS initiative is Shannen's way of tackling the problem of existing tights that continue to circle into our ecosystem.

With Shannen gaining momentum she shows no signs of slowing down, as she gains increasing popularity maybe people may start to wake up to the realities of what their fashion choices do to the world around them, or maybe we are all doomed to drown in a sea of single use plastic. Who knows... but one thing we can be certain of is that there is at least one designer out there striving for a a world they would be happy passing onto their children.

If you would like to support the initiative or better yet buy some of Shannen's designs, visit her website at


Jussi Grut

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