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Garment retailers profit from avoiding landfills

Sustainable Brands SolutionsPORTLAND, OR: OIA Global, a 3PL, packaging and materials sourcing company, is bidding to expand its Garments on Hanger (GOH) business with the launch of 'Garments on Ditto' - a marketing program that allows retailers to replace plastic hangers with 100 percent recyclable ones.

The company has joined with Ditto Sustainable Brands Solutions, producers of hangers made from 100 percent recycled paper fibreboard. As a result, retailers now can not only stop billions of one-use, virgin plastic hangers going into landfills every year, but will also have a competitive sourcing alternative to Tyco, which dominates the U.S. garment hanger industry.

Steve Akre, OIA's EVP of business development claimed "retailers can reduce shipping and warehousing costs [by] up to 20 percent and achieve significant sustainability advances using the Garments on Ditto program".

The two companies said their program redefines GOH shipping as the 'Ditto' hanger fits up to 50 percent more clothing on retail displays; provides a new branding and marketing tool that customers can touch and take home; is fully customizable for brand awareness and direct customer messaging – and is completely recyclable by stores or via consumer curbside collection programs.

Gary Barker, Ditto's founder and CEO explained: "People think plastic store hangers are used repeatedly but once the garment is sold, there's no reuse. Studies show that 85 percent of retail plastic hangers are thrown out resulting in a staggering 34 billion hangers going into landfills annually.

"We were able to show that this cheap, single-use plastic hanger isn't as cheap as we thought, actually costing almost 10 cents more per garment to ship, including the remarkable 3-cent cost to dispose of each plastic hanger – retailers are paying a premium to send tons of plastic to our landfills." he added.

Portland, OR-based OIA began in 1988 by shipping perishables to Asia. Over the next 10-12 years, the company expanded its portfolio to include customs brokerage, ocean freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution. In 2005, it began offering customers packaging redesign, sourcing and management, and supply chain optimization.

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