The plastic straws of fashion
How hangers are heavily impacting the plastic production of the fashion industry. Tackling sustainability issues within the fashion industry is a cumulative action that involves a different aspect across the
How hangers are heavily impacting the plastic production of the fashion industry.
Tackling sustainability issues within the fashion industry is a cumulative action that involves a different aspect across the industry and goes beyond garment production.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the planet produces 300 million tonnes of plastic every year.
From single-use cups, bags and, nonetheless, the fashion industry heavily contributes to the issue with tonnes of plastic based disposable packaging which is most often used as a temporary protection just for the transition of clothes from manufactures to warehouses and ultimately, stores.
In the specific, plastic hangers, also considered the ‘straw of the fashion industry’, are an inexpensive and lightweight product that, although are used as a commodity within the supply chain to preserve the quality of the garments for the final consumer, are extremely impactful for the environment.
954.6 million plastic hangers are used in the UK each year of which 16% are used solely for the transit of goods.
Disposable hangers are produced using polystyrene, a synthetic polymer, hazardous to produces and photo-oxidant resistant, significantly difficult to biodegrade. On average each year, 85% of plastic hangers end up in landfill and the throw-away mindset promoted by fast fashion heavily contributes to the lack of awareness on the issue.
Companies are actively rethinking innovative solutions. Aimed to reduce plastic waste by 50%, SML Group that debuted the EcoHanger, produced using recycled fiberboard for the arms and a polypropylene hook, a material that can be recycled.
Cardboard hangers have been developed by Ditto and although have a significant upfront cost, about 60% more compared to plastic hangers, can be more easily produced and have lighter, thinner and customizable features making them a great alternative for garment transit purposes.
words and visual by Giulia Mummolo