Amsterdam-based Arch & Hook first burst on the fashion scene in 2019 with a sustainable clothes hanger produced from Blue, a sustainably-sourced thermoplastic material derived from ocean-bound post-consumer waste plastic collected for the most part from four of the most polluting rivers on earth
The success of the sustainable hanger has led to further efforts to reduce or even eliminate the use of non-sustainable materials in retail altogether. Arch & Hook has now developed a range of
design and product solutions for ‘behind-the-scene’ goods that are commonly made from single-use plastics. These include sustainable options for products such as packaging and store furnishings - in the industry known as GNFR, or Goods Not For Resale
Next to its proprietary Blue material, Blue, Arch & Hook also works with recycled acrylic, metals and organic materials such as FSC-certified wood.The company works mostly on custom briefs for the retail supply chain, but also provides off-the-shelf solutions, including furniture, fixtures, and a transportation solution called AutoBox.
In this way, it recently teamed up with Nike to help design that company’s new store in Toronto. Arch & Hook provided sustainable choices for everything, from flooring to seating, shipping all furnishings as flatpack modules to minimise carbon emissions.
Part of the drive for the transition to more sustainable alternatives is being driven by consumer demand. A recent study, carried out by Arch & Hook in collaboration with WIRED into the environmental impact of the retail industry’s continued reliance on plastic background goods included a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in the UK and the US. 82% of UK and 73% of US respondents said they believe it is ‘very important’ that the fashion industry finds alternatives to plastics, and respectively 63% and 67% said they would pay more for sustainable brands.
“Arch & Hook are trailblazing the path for retailers by providing solutions and systems to implement into their business. As the sector works towards a sustainable recovery, the industry has no choice but to take responsibility for its actions impacting people and the planet,” said Kerry Bannigan, executive director, Fashion Impact Fund and co-founder of the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, an initiative driven by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UN Partnerships), and the Fashion Impact Fund.
The fashion industry is on course to fall well short of the UN’s updated fashion charter pledge to halve emissions by 2030. The reimagined and organic materials developed by Arch & Hook can be used to manufacture anything - offering real solutions for positive impact. Retail must choose products that are designed to fit the future, and this company intends to make sure those products are available for the sector to use.