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Q. Dear Umbra,

Back-to-school shopping season is fast approaching, and item No. 1 on the list is a few new pairs of tights for the winter months. Problem is, almost every pair I bought last year ripped after two or three wearings. I understand these things aren’t made to last forever, but I don’t want to throw out so much clothing (and money!) again this year. Do you have any brands you recommend that are more durable and sustainable? Any ways to repair or reuse torn nylons?

Patricia W.
Naperville, Ill.

Photo by Alison Faith.

A. Dearest Patricia,

I can hear my editor now: “You answered a question about tights? What’s green about that?” Not much, editor. You have a fine, albeit imaginary, point. But this mention of back-to-school shopping reminds me that we should all be thinking about Being Wiser Consumers. (Psst, Patricia: If you want my actual advice about tights, consider skipping the next few paragraphs.)