Founded by Gary Barker and Larry Chernicoff, GreenHeart Global is an Oakland, California-based company that specializes in sustainable product design. With a mission to bring meaning to commodities, GreenHeart Global conceives, designs, manufactures, and markets products that meet the growing demand for goods but do not harm the environment. Their products are made from recycled, recyclable, rapidly renewable, and/or bio-based materials, as well as natural and non-toxic inks, dyes, and adhesives. Always striving to close the loop on materials, GreenHeart Global takes the entire life cycle into account when designing a product, ensuring that each item is sustainable from beginning to end. Barker, who heads the company as CEO, says, “Consumerism will not stop, so we’d better design better products that are appropriate both for use and the time when use is over.”
In 2006, Barker and Chernicoff searched for an everyday, flagship product they could redesign that represented their design philosophy and concern for the environment. They settled on the ubiquitous clothing hanger, which is usually made from environmentally hazardous plastic, and launched their alternative, the Ditto Hanger, in late 2007. Intended to replace the billions of plastic retail hangers that go to landfill every year, Ditto Hangers are created from 100 percent recycled and recyclable paper. These durable hangers are now used in thousands of retail stores around the world and have won several industrial design awards. The Ditto line has since expanded to include wholly sustainable signage, packaging, and POP and accessory displays.
GreenHeart Global conducts extensive material, production, and recovery systems research and analysis for every product they create. Aside from offering intelligently designed and environmentally conceived products, GreenHeart Global also helps other companies better understand and develop systems that complement their sustainability initiatives. Clients include The Gap, Adidas, LL Bean, The Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond.