Coat Hangers Are Today's Plastic Thing to Feel Sad About

By Gary Cutlack on at

The fast fashion trend isn't only about throwing away trousers because they have the wrong type of hole in them on the wrong knee for this season – there's also a bendy plastic elephant in the room in the shape of all the hangers used to display the new types and shapes of clothing they've invented. They're plastic. Usually terrible cheap hybrids of multiple types that are impossible to recycle.

But not any more or at least maybe not in about the year 2021 or thereabouts, as designer Roland Mouret and sustainable producer Arch & Hook are pushing for a war on single use plastic hangers fronted by an alternative that uses a blend of reclaimed sea plastics and recyclables. The only problem is that it's a boring grey colour rather than industry-standard black, because of the way it's produced with no dying or colouring or blending. That's the price paid for a better hanger.

You won't believe how big a problem it is either. Recycling expert First Mile specialises in weird recyclables like coat hangers, and has previously made the claim that an incomprehensible 20 billion single use plastic clothes hangers are binned around the world every year, thanks to the way clothing factories supply garments on disposable in-house hangers that are binned and swapped for branded versions as soon as the items reach their retailers. [BBC]