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Students invent paper shopping bag that transforms into a hanger

By Mason White 11:51 AM December 8, 2013
Handbag becomes a hanger 

By: Eva Fett
(Scroll down for video) Several students invented a comfortable paper shopping bag that doubles up as a hanger, according to a report by the Mit Institute Of Design.

Three students of MIT Institute of Design have come up with an innovative solution that gives a new lease of life to the shopping bags.They have designed an interesting shopping bag which can be easily converted into a hanger to hang clothes in the wardrobe.

Parin Sanghvi, Mohit Singhvi and Shruti Gupta are studying Product Design at MIT ID and started this initiative as part of their classroom project for “Green Design.”

Green Design is a project in which they learn how to make products that are environment friendly. The students have to choose a topic of their interest and develop a solution for it, which solves real life problems.

While exploring ideas for the topic they observed that everyone uses shopping bags,reuses it few times and finally discards it. They also observed that, in order to face against the environmental problems, many stores have switched to paper bags.

However, given the enormous number of shopping bags that are used nowadays they realized that even a small improvement will result in immense benefit and savings.

Thus these budding designers saw an opportunity in working on the shopping bags.

Parin said: “We wondered if there could be an interesting way in which shopping bags can be reused, such that it becomes a useful product in itself. With this challenge in our mind we came up with various whacky ideas and some really workable concepts.”

After extensive research, brainstorming and discussion with their faculty they came up with a concept of making a clothes hanger out of the shopping bag!! By doing this they tackled two problems at a time. One they found an alternate use for shopping bag and secondly replaced a plastic hanger with more eco-friendly product.

As any true Designer would do they immediately got into action and started experimenting with existing shopping bags and figuring out way to make a hanger out of it.

Shruti said: “We wanted to keep the process very simple for the user so that anyone can make the hanger without any hassles.We met several paper bag manufacturers in order to understand the process and keep the cost as low as possible.” They figured out a way and also made a prototype which worked.

Going further they printed the instruction for folding the bag in the correct manner and using very attractive graphics on the bag itself. So one can simply follow the instructions, fold the bag and the brand new clothes hanger is ready.

They have made few such pieces and given it to their friends to use and have got an amazing feedback. It became an instant hit on the campus and soon they started getting orders from their friends.

Looking at the response they were encouraged to take this further and they came up with a brand name “Hangbag” to promote this innovative product. Hangbag is already going viral on the social networks, international design blogs and websites. In a day itself it got 300+ likes on Facebook and close to 1000 views on YouTube.

When asked about their future plans, Mohit said: “that we would like to produce and supply such bags to major retail stores and brands like Levis, Lee, Nike etc. We wish that we can build an enterprise of our own to make more products like Hangbag.”

They believe that using their Design skill sets they can develop many other products that will solve such other problems and contribute to make the world a better place.