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NRAs 2015 Waste Prevention Award: Braiform

Braiform’s Garment Hanger Re-use Programme works on the philosophy that a hanger can be used many times before it needs to be recycled.

It calculated that more than 15 billion garment hangers are used annually around the world, most of them only once, making them a major global contributor to waste.

The closed-loop process allows Braiform and its clients – major retailers and garment suppliers – to work together. By reusing their hangers, retailers can reduce costs and improve efficiencies by extending the lifespan of a garment hanger beyond a single use.

Braiform’s own hangers are designed to be more durable and withstand multiple lifecycles. Each year, in conjunction with licensees, it supplies close to three billion hangers, reuses more than one billion and recycles more than 200 million. It has patented hundreds of reuse designs, customised hangers for dozens of customers and has worked to improve its manufacturing and distribution methods to ensure that it achieves its ever-evolving sustainability goals.

Its reuse concept involves hangers being retained in stores during the sales transaction rather than being despatched with the customer. The hangers are then consolidated via reverse logistics within the retailer’s distribution centres, and collected and transported to one of Braiform’s four global reuse centres for processing. Returned hangers are consolidated, repacked and redistributed ready to be used again. This curbs raw material consumption and reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions.

“Braiform demonstrated sound commercial operation and embedded waste prevention into its business model. It is influencing a challenging market.”

Judges’ comment

In recent years it has invested in sorting equipment to improve efficiencies, as well as developing a specialised reuse hanger range. The volumes of hangers it collects for reuse or recycling has continued to rise. In 2014 it collected 539 million hangers, with 433 million reused.

In 2015 Braiform will launch a range of polystyrene hangers, designed to be lightweight and recyclable. It also continues to work with retailers around the world to design solutions that move them away from single-use hangers.

Hanger Re-use Programme



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