We know them as a modern nuisance; cluttering wardrobes; stretching out clothing we probably should have folded; and cracking under the immense weight of chiffon.
Adding to the list is a study which has established that plastic hangers are an environmental menace so serious they could soon outstrip the damage caused by plastic bags, straws and bottles. Hundreds of hangers are handed out daily by retailers despite the overwhelming majority of them not being recyclable, with around half ending up in landfills or the ocean.
Taking matters into his own hands is designer Roland Mouret. The luxury French designer has teamed up with Dutch company Arch and Hook to produce a hanger with a much longer shelf life, using 80 per cent marine plastic found floating in the ocean, and 20 per cent recyclable plastic. At London Fashion Week, Mouret offered 300 of his new hangers for free to most designers.
"A beautiful garment has to be put on a hanger and has to be carried by van to the store. In that travel, we use single use plastic hangers that we throw away straight after. They're all polystyrene, and polystyrene is not recyclable. That is unacceptable," Mouret explains.
Speaking about the quality of his hanger innovation, Mouret says, "I think it's stronger than a normal hanger, but at the moment, if you break it, it's completely recyclable. You can have something that is so circular that nothing goes back to the sea."
With growing concern over the use of plastic hangers, more and more brands are making an effort to reduce the waste, with John Lewis inviting customers to bring in old hangers to be reused or recycled, and shopping centres around the world calling for customers to leave plastics hangers in a designated area for others to reuse.
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