Retail Chains Changing to Sustainable Hangers

The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association (VICS) released new standards created to lower the cost and reduce the environmental impact of hangers throughout the retail value chain. The new guidelines, which change the standard color of “department store” hangers (with metal hooks) from clear to matte black, were developed collaboratively by VICS members, including retailers, apparel companies and hanger suppliers.

The move to the new hanger, which does not impact infant’s wear, toddler’s or intimate apparel, is expected to be completed by January 2012. The same VICS clear performance standards will apply to black hangers and the style numbers for black hangers will be the same as they were for clear.

This standards change is a major step for the U.S. apparel industry in the direction of a more sustainable and lower cost hanger. Major retailers and suppliers have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in improving the environment, and will do so by using resources more efficiently, providing an 'eco-friendlier' product that meets all business and shopper requirements. A VICS Hangers Sustainability study showed a potential savings of up to $86 million with a reduction in plastic of 53 million pounds.

“We appreciate and value involvement and support all stakeholders in this effort as we move into a new era of greater hanger sustainability in the USA,” said Joe Andraski, President and CEO of VICS. “The VICS Hangers Subcommittee’s goal was to find methods of reducing expense and implementing sound business practices that are environmentally friendly.”

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