April 22nd is Earth Day, so for this week, we want to shine a spotlight on companies that are making a focused effort to create a more sustainable future. Today, we want to recognize Watson Gloves. From biodegradable disposable gloves, to being the first glove manufacturer to use recycled materials in their products, Watson has been a leader in eco-conscious hand protection.
This week, we're shining a spotlight on companies that are making a focused effort to create a more sustainable future, whether by focusing on more environmentally-friendly products, reducing waste and water consumption in the production process, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating comprehensive recycling programs, and/or increasing social impact funding.
Today, we want to recognize Watson Gloves. For over a century, this Canadian company has provided hand protection for work, home, and play, focusing on high quality materials and innovative glove design. And with a mission to stay one step ahead of their customers, anticipating their needs to produce the most advanced gloves, it’s no surprise that Watson brings a similar commitment to being conscious of their environment — they go the extra mile to create cutting-edge sustainable products.
Watson has been receiving recognition for sustainability in the last year, beginning with their familiar Green Monkey™ disposable nitrile gloves. What makes these special? Nitrile gloves typically take up to 200 years to biodegrade in landfills! By contrast, Green Monkey™ gloves incorporate natural additives that help the gloves break down in 8-10 years once subjected to landfill conditions. And rather than breaking down into smaller plastic pieces, like so many other disposable PPE, the gloves are actually converted into biogas like other organic materials!
This year, Watson has kicked its sustainability initiatives up a notch with WasteNot™ yarn, which is made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) commonly found in plastic bottles. The result? One whole 500mL bottle is used in each pair of seamless knit gloves, like Watson’s new Stealth Hero and Karma work gloves which will be coming soon to Vallen.ca, while 2-3 bottles are used in their fabric printed pairs!
Let’s pull the curtain back a bit and look at the impact of this: according to The Guardian, we use 1 million plastic bottles per minute around the globe, which each take up to 700 years to decompose. On top of this, less than 10% of this actually gets recycled. Initiatives like Watson’s have major global implications, as most of all the plastic ever developed in the world still exists in its original form, causing devastation to birds, marine animals, fish, and other wildlife. With WasteNot™, Watson has already used 305 344 plastic bottles in the last month alone.
It’s an incredible feat that has been certified by Global Recycled Standard, which validates recycled fibre content claims and composition. And while PET has previously been used in the creation of apparel, accessories, and shoes, Watson is the first gloves manufacturer to use recycled materials in its offerings.
At Vallen, we are committed to including eco-conscious products for our customers, and are proud to work with companies like Watson Gloves that simultaneously increase our awareness of plastic pollution while finding unique solutions to deal with plastic waste. WasteNot™ is further proof that a more sustainable future is possible when innovation and excellent design are coupled with the determination to build a clean, healthy, and safe environment.