A bit of sheet metal, a bit of wire, ready is the … no, not vending machine but “only” a hanger. But what a one! In fact, it consists mainly of cellulose. Much more could be made from the material and with the method.
For Ekoligens in Kungälv, Sweden, sustainability not only plays a major role in operations, it is simply the basis for the company’s business idea, which is the first in the world to mass-produce 3D-shaped hangers made from sustainably sourced cellulose – the starting point for a significant reduction in the fashion industry’s environmental impact.
“Considering that more than 10 billion plastic clothes hangers are produced worldwide every year, there is tremendous potential for us to help the fashion industry switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy and reduce plastic waste,” says Christian Capurso, CEO of Ekoligens hopefully.
Many fashion companies have shown great interest in Ekoligens’ products, but changing familiar buying patterns and established supply chains takes time. This is the reason why Ekoligens has focused over the past year on strengthening its collaboration with its customers and developing both its production process and its product offering to truly meet the needs of the market.
The backbone of production is a fully automated two-press line from AP&T, which is used to form cellulose blanks into clothes hangers. When fully utilized, the plant can produce well over 2000 units per hour. The system was delivered in the summer of 2021 and, with the help of AP&T, integrated into the other systems, tested, optimized and used for low-volume production.
“Sustainability is of central importance to AP&T. We are pleased to be able to provide know-how and equipment that contribute to more sustainable products and production, for example through low energy consumption, short cycle times, high reliability and long service life. Ekoligens has an exciting product with high growth potential, which makes our cooperation strategically interesting,” says Dr. Christian Koroschetz, Chief Sales Officer at AP&T.
Now, in the fall of 2022, it is time for Ekoligens to open up new horizons and set up the business in its full range. “This is a very important step for us and we are grateful to be able to take it with an established partner like AP&T. Our goal is to further expand our production facilities in Europe and eventually into other parts of the world where we see a corresponding customer demand. Through this already established, trusted partnership, our companies will continue to share risks and opportunities, allowing us both a sustainable future,” Capurso concludes.