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Textile industry: clothes hangers made of grass.

The topic of clothing packaging also includes clothes hangers – for transport and of course at the POS. But most of them today are neither made from sustainable materials nor are they used in cycles. In 2008, the ironing company Cortec from Wald-Michelbach tested hangers made of 100% natural fibers for the first time, which were supposed to be more sustainable than a plastic hanger and more durable than a normal wooden hanger. The first attempts were made with corn starch and cellulose acetate. But these proved unsuitable for long-term use because they were not very stable. They were also expensive and the raw materials required new, long transport routes.

Cortec then set out to find a regional material that would be durable and competitive. The choice fell on grass fibers, which are constantly and inexpensively available thanks to short transport routes. The transport distances do not exceed 30 kilometers. The first grass bracket ready for series production finally came onto the market in 2014. It consists of up to 50% grass fibers and 50% recycled polypropylene, which also comes from the region. Cortec works with the company Biowert, the world’s only grass factory.

An analysis by the IfaS Institute has calculated that the grass hanger saves up to 64% CO2 compared to a regular plastic clothes hanger. According to Cortec’s experience, the combination of grass fibers and recycled polypropylene makes the hangers more durable and even more recyclable than regular plastic hangers, which today are mainly made of polystyrene. The company also encourages customers to return the hangers at the end of their life to recycle them. For the past two years, Cortec has experienced a real boom in demand for irons from all over the world. Cortec cordially invites interested parties to its own production facility to demonstrate on site how the hanger is made from grass. There are 150 different models on offer that cost between 50 cents and 3 euros.