World’s first cardboard hanger with a metal hook that fits into all existing systems. 100% recyclable & plastic-free!
TypeStartup or self-employed
FoundersPieter Theron, Norman Mackenzie and Majken Møller
Headquarters1012 PR Amsterdam, Netherlands
NORMN Hangers offers a ground-breaking solution that significantly reduces plastic in the fashion industry. Our hanger is the world’s first cardboard clothing hanger with a metal hook that fits into all existing logistic systems. The hanger is 100% recyclable in all existing paper recycling infrastructure and completely removes the need for plastic hangers. According to RESET’s Fashion Pact publication, 85% of (plastic) hangers (~85bn; 2,5 million tonnes of plastic) are disposed of, causing significant resource loss and negative environmental impact.
Our hangers are fully functional, tested, proven, and implementable today as a direct like-for-like displacement to the out-of-date practices still used by the vast majority. At scale, our innovative and patented technology provides the opportunity for a CO2 saving of 20,007,700 tonnes, which is 90% less than the current situation. The hangers fit into the largest, global recycling infrastructure already in place (paper) and predominantly use existing production methods to ensure fast scale-up.
Plastic hangers, “the plastic straws of the fashion industry” (BBC, 2019), are where brands like GAP are “prepared to make a tangible impact on problematic plastics” (Fashion Pact, 2020). There is a real business need for fashion brands stuck in a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy to scout for sustainable solutions to reduce their environmental impact. Hangers are a part of this transition. The current state-of-the-art is single-use plastic hangers. These are NOT accepted in standard plastic recycling schemes due to their shape and require specialist collections, which are ineffective and not widespread. Recycled plastic content or bioplastics do not address this issue. Most garments manufactured require single-use plastic hangers for transport. With an estimated 150 billion garments produced annually (WEF / McKinsey), 100 billion hangers are necessary for the industry’s supply chain. Only 15% of these are recycled (Veolia, 2020).
Paper is the obvious sustainable alternative to plastic; the collection infrastructure for paper is the largest, most developed and widely accessible recycling system globally. Paper is the most recycled packaging in Europe (PackagingEurope, 2020) and can be recycled by anyone in any paper bin. Additionally, the virgin resource for our hangers comes from a carbon-capturing, renewable and certified managed forests. Plastic is none of those. On top of this is the fact that the NORM gives a CO2 saving of 90% compared to a typical plastic hanger over the whole life cycle. The best part: it is available today.
Despite easy recycling, cardboard hangers are not widely adopted due to strength issues and unsuitability in the sector's logistics infrastructure; metal hooks are essential for strength, gliding along rails, hooking into eyelets and moving through automated garment logistic systems. Cardboard hooks also fail in humidity (shipping containers), with steam used to decrease garments on hangers.
In conjunction with the global fashion industry, NORMN Hangers therefore developed The NORM. Its patented metal hook attachment is the "Rosetta Stone", unlocking paper’s potential to displace ALL plastic hangers (WRAP: metal including staples, paperclips, etc accepted by paper mills). The project builds on this breakthrough innovation and challenges automating the “hook insert” production at scale.
Our paper hangers are fully printable, offering an immense addition in value and benefits not possible with plastic hangers. The hangers are a new and very visible platform to communicate effectively and directly to customers, including QR codes, discount codes, returning footfall, etc. A sum of 8607 NORMN hangers provide a total printable communication space the size of a tennis court. Lastly, it helps bridge the brand honesty perception gap by showing clear, direct, unquestionable action towards sustainability that customers can see and touch.
The hanger is often used as an icon for the fashion industry. It is the perfect leading light to show the industry’s willingness to change for the better.
We give fashion the opportunity to change immediately, using existing infrastructure and scalable technology available today. Goodbye plastic, hello paper!
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