Eco-friendly hangers made by Israeli trash-redeemer UBQ to hit fashion industry

UBQ, which converts household scraps into a bio-based plastic substitute, joins forces with US Mainetti Group to make garment hangers for retail chains globally

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Illustrative image of clothes, fashion, on hangers (Naypong; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of clothes, fashion, on hangers (Naypong; iStock by Getty Images)

Mainetti Group, a maker of clothes hangers for retail chains globally, will join forces with Israeli startup UBQ Materials to use its bio-based products to make eco-friendly hangers.

The joining of forces will “revolutionize sustainability in the fashion industry,” the two firms said in a statement.

The Israeli firm has patented a process that converts household trash, organic, paper and plastic — such as banana peels, dirty diapers, yogurt containers and cardboard — into a bio-based thermoplastic, or a plastic substitute, that can replace oil-based plastic, wood and concrete in the manufacture of everyday products.

Roberto Peruzzo, the CEO of Mainetti, said that nearly 60 years ago the US firm pioneered recycling hangers and plastics in the fashion industry. Now, it was taking an additional step to “help the fashion industry revolutionize sustainable practices and have a lasting impact on the planet.”

The development of Mainetti products containing UBQ material “has resulted in hangers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” the statement said. The sustainable products are currently pending certification.

With billions of hangers produced globally each year, the impact that this retail staple has on the environment is significant, the statement said, and the fashion industry is under scrutiny for its part in pollution and climate change. Mainetti’s exclusive collaboration with UBQ for the hangers offers brands across the fashion and retail industries a cost-effective way to “significantly reduce their carbon footprint” and cut waste, the statement said.

“Industries like retail and fashion are ripe to lead sustainable change,” said Jack Bigio, co-founder and CEO of UBQ Materials Israel. “It is easy to overlook the impact of a hanger, but when we zoom out, we understand that hangers are the common denominator across all brands, across the globe. The beauty of manufacturing products with a climate-positive material such as UBQ is the ability to significantly impact carbon footprints while leaving no impact on consumers’ experience.”

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