the tights ball

The Tights Ball | Reimagining Ladies Tights

With artist duo Akleriah, we have been collecting discarded ladies tights to create large heavy tights balls that provoke conversation around the environmental impact of nylon and politics of body image and consumption.

From 2013-2015 | Occasionally ongoing

“A sinister ball begun rolling around the capital of England, growing bigger, becoming more ominous, more terrifying than anyone could possibly imagine…

Made of the most innocuous, gentle and pretty of clothing items, tights and stockings, the tights ball gathered pace, sweeping up stories and personal memories …

Every week millions of pairs of ladies tights are consigned to the bottom drawer or the bin. The majority contain nylon, a non-biodegradable material that often ends up in landfill. From spring 2013, artists Lenka Horakova and Anna Kompaniets created ‘The Tights Ball’, consisting of over 350 pairs of tights, stockings and socks, each carrying an individual memory, a fleeting story of personal time…

Tights can be seen as beautiful, but they can also carry sinister messages for some, and for our planet, exposing how easy it is to be fooled into thinking that the small things don’t matter or make little impression…

The ball is a physical manifestation of the impact even the smallest decision makes on our planet, expanding exponentially as we moved around the city – collecting broken tights, stockings and personal stories, this was a beautifully horrifying art intervention.”

Initially commissioned by the London borough of Lewisham to raise awareness of textile recycling and an award from Arts Council England, we set out to discover the politics of tights recycling by collecting old tights. What was revealed was not what was expected [click].

There are now 10 balls weighing more than 15kg, the intention was for this project is to grow ‘the tights ball’ a hundredfold, indicating the scale of approximate 3.5million women in London all throwing away one pair of tights in their lifetime.

We have two websites, The Tights Ball and Re-imagining Ladies Tights, where hundreds of stories of women’s experiences of tights can be found.

Dress made of tights by Anna Kompaniets


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