Blog: Leonie BarrieUnhooking the hanger problem

Leonie Barrie | 13 September 2007

Saving a few garment hangers might not seem like a big step towards saving the planet, but the cumulative benefits are significant believes M&S. Its research suggests that the average Briton has 67 coat hangers and that almost a fifth (18%) of these aren’t used. Multiply this by the country’s population, and it equates to around 530m or almost 17,000 tonnes of unwanted coat hangers stashed away in UK homes. The retailer now proposes to reform damaged hangers into new ones, while intact coat hangers will be shipped back to M&S garment manufacturers in Europe to be reused.

Recycling coat hangers instead of binning them might be something we can all do to help reduce our environmental impact, but along with ideas such as switching to energy efficient light bulbs or taking fewer baths I wonder if such a small step will have as big an impact as we’re told. And it’s a shame the coat hanger amnesty is just taking place for two days later this month; hardly time to make a real impact.

Most tellingly, M&S admitted yesterday that if it wasn’t ‘back freighting’ hangers back to its factories, containers would be returning back to their destination empty as they were doing before, with all the unnecessary fuel consumption and carbon emissions this entails. Surely this isn’t good news for its green business credentials. 

M&S to trial coat hanger amnesty


Asia facing up to increased competition

Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...


Cambodia raises garment worker wages

The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...


Sportswear initiatives start to take shape

The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...


Hanjin Shipping collapse triggers fear of West Coast port repeat

The recent bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container shipper, at the end of August, has left billions of dollars worth of merchandise in limbo, leaving the fal...

just-style homepage

Forgot your password?