FALL RIVER-In celebration of Earth Day 2021, Merrow Manufacturing is set to debut a revolutionary new line of closed loop, Net Zero PPE™, personal protective equipment that includes medical gowns, surgical caps and scrubs woven with REPREVE® recycled polyester – made from 100% recycled post-consumer content (plastic bottles). The first-of-its-kind design and production is a collaborative effort between Merrow and Precision Fabrics Group.
According to a release, the full line of Merrow Medical Net Zero PPE™ garments includes base layers, scrubs, vests, surgical caps and isolation gowns. For physicians, nurses and healthcare systems, the garments provide a reliable domestic supply chain with a cost per use that is 25 to 33% less expensive than the cost of an equivalent disposable garment, thanks to its reusable properties. Merrow Medical Net Zero PPE™ garments exceed AAMI/PB70 standards and offer the highest level of protection available to frontline workers throughout the life of the garment.
“The Merrow Medical Net Zero PPE™ garments are the first step to re-engineering the nation’s critically important medical garment/PPE supply chain, utilizing reusable, recyclable materials and manufacturing them in solar-powered factories in the United States,” said Charlie Merrow, CEO of Merrow Manufacturing. “It is vital that we not only create a superior, recyclable medical garment, but also strengthen our national security by rebuilding the supply chain for these products domestically.”
“The Net Zero PPE™ Program using PFG’s Precision Protection™ medical fabrics is about doing the right thing for our healthcare workers, hospital systems and our environment. It provides the highest protection available to our clinicians at the lowest possible cost to hospital systems, and nearly eliminates the environmental footprint in the process,” said Byron Bassett, PFG Corporate Vice President. “Our closed loop, recycled, net zero medical fabrics and garments are a drastic disruption to the status quo that involves using a garment once and then disposing it in a landfill.”
As part of the production process, PFG will weave Precision Protection™ fabrics from REPREVE® high-quality, recycled polyester yarn created by Unifi, a leading innovator in recycled and synthetic yarn and fibers. Designed for durability, each garment can be recycled into yarn for a new medical garment, keeping the manufacturing loop closed and reducing the plastics waste stream.
According to Merrow, green manufacturing in support of the medical supply chain is the pioneering American initiative needed to realize long term internationally competitive manufacturing programs that align with environmental and progressive policies. “In scaling a green manufacturing program with federal, state and private health care partners, we are insuring this vital sector is not held hostage by an international supply chain that has buckled during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Merrow. “Earth Day 2021 will be remembered as the day we took the first step toward a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future.”