Six hundred fewer tons of plastic in the environment in 2011: this is the green result that Benetton Group will achieve by introducing innovative, lightweight liquid wood clothes hangers – 100% biodegradable and recyclable – in place of the plastic hangers usually used to display garments. The eco-hangers, developed in partnership with the Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie in Pfinztal-Berghausen (Germany), will gradually replace their plastic predecessors throughout the worldwide network of Benetton stores.
The liquid wood hangers are just part of a far broader eco-sustainable business plan launched by Benetton in a context of attention to social issues – and environmental respect in particular – always an important aspect of our corporate identity. Benetton’s green journey includes two other tangible environmental sustainability programmes, involving organic cotton garments and eco-friendly paper shopping bags.
In the Benetton children’s collections, organic cotton already accounts for over 30% of all cotton apparel, and with the spring-summer 2011 collection, organic cotton garments will reach a total of 13 million across the Group’s various brands. These products are all certified according to the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) ethical and environmental criteria, a worldwide benchmark that guarantees adherence to key organic standards in fibre production.
The GOTS standard focuses on ethical and environmental sustainability (ensuring that products are GMO-free and come from low-impact farming). Benetton performs a constant cycle of controls to ensure that the CaMV 35S promoter, indicative of the presence of GMO cottons, is not found within the fibres.
Furthermore, since January 2010, customers buying from United Colors of Benetton stores have been taking their purchases home in a craft-white eco-friendly paper shopping bag, processed using water-based inks only, and sourced from an FSC certified paper factory, ensuring products are made using timber from forests that are controlled and managed according to the principles of social and environmental sustainability.