New findings are shining a light on the impact of plastic hangers on the environment as an eco-fashion design agency has offered a solution to the problem.
The findings are a part of the first ever piece of academic research on the environmental impact of plastic hangers, involving experts at Northumbria University.
According to the report, 60% of all clothes sold come with a plastic hanger. As a result, each year a staggering 954 million plastic hangers are used in the UK alone.
The research included interviews with senior fashion professionals, which suggests that most people are unaware of the issues surrounding plastic pollution. Nearly seven out of ten (68%) were unaware what type of plastic their hangers are made from, making it difficult or impossible to recycle them.
The report authors are now calling on the fashion industry to take action to address its overreliance on plastic.
Dr. Alana James, Senior Lecturer in Fashion at Northumbria University, said:
For nearly a century now fashion has had an unhealthy reliance on the use of plastic, with 65% of all garments currently produced being made from synthetic fibres. Hangers remain a largely overlooked area of environmental impact in the industry, despite 60% of all clothing sold being associated with a plastic hanger.
The report was published by eco-design company Arch & Hook, whose designs combine recycled and recyclable materials to create durable hangers, as well as looking at hanger recollection operations. The hangers are made from marine, ocean-bound and post-consumer plastics that have been collected from the world’s most polluted rivers.
Arch & Hook founder and CEO Sjoerd Fauser said:
Our eye-opening report is just the tip of the iceberg. Data for worldwide hanger usage remains unavailable.
We are determined to expand the research into other areas, in collaboration with more partners, to unveil the truth, create awareness and turn sustainability into a tangible action.