One of the debut brands at last week’s Greener by Design Conference in San Francisco was a company called Ditto Hangers, co-founded by industrial designer Gary Barker, also co-founder of Greenheart Global, Inc. It may seem trite to focus a brand on something as rudimentary as the everyday hanger, but that’s precisely why this kind of ‘re-thinking design’ is so pertinent. An estimated 8 billion polystyrene and polycarbonate hangers clog our landfills every year, and as Gary Barker points out, that’s enough to fill the Empire State Building 4.6 times!
Long story short the manufacturing trend of producing ‘floor ready garments’ counter-intuitively produces piles (and piles) of hangers in dumpsters on a daily basis, as clothing arrives at retailers on the cheapest plastic hangers made, and there’s no use for them within the store after purchase. Gary makes the case for a recycled and recyclable hanger incredibly well in his How Many Hangers Does it Take to Fill a Landfill? article.
Lest repeating the entire thing, one can find his article as well as many a scary fact on disposable plastic things on the Ditto Hanger site. You can also learn all about why nearly all of us walk around bioaccumulating Benzene and Bisphenol-A, two popular chemicals used in polystyrene plastics. The problem with ‘disposable’ plastics and even most recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable plastics, is that they never really go away – such as are the laws of thermodynamics: that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed and that they tend to disperse.
The Ditto 10-pack, available at www.Amazon.com, comes in a 100% recycled and highly compressed paperboard option as well as a 100% recyclable PET plastic option. Both are available in a range of colors and have a client branding option, for custom advertising on the hanger itself. These are an excellent replacement to the much-disliked metal and equally bad disposable plastic hangers.