Make the Case for Reusable Textiles
Sustainability Makes Them Stronger
Many healthcare providers that converted from disposable textiles to reusable products were driven by the need for cost savings or the desire to reduce waste and meet other environmental sustainability goals. Some learned the hard way that reusables are the best way to maintain a stable supply chain – and pricing – during PPE shortages.
The following case studies represent some of the most successful deployments of reusable textiles in the U.S. They demonstrate that hospitals and healthcare systems can operate safely, with strong and resilient supply chains while making significant expense reductions.
Among the insights the healthcare providers shared: Don’t underestimate the savings that accompany reducing the waste that single use products generate. Reusables generate 84% to 97% less waste, according to ARTA’s life cycle assessments.
Moreover, these conversions allowed the providers to significantly reduce their energy and water consumption and their greenhouse gas emissions. A number of these facilities and others that started by replacing disposable products with reusables now have broad, transformational environmental programs underway, leveraging their political and economic influence to help address climate risks.
“We have found that converting to reusable isolation gowns has improved our bottom line. Reusable isolation gowns cost less than disposable ones, but the real savings comes in reducing labor and waste-stream costs.”
– NOVO Health Services client
Novo Health Services saved its regional healthcare system client 53% on a full conversion from disposable to reusable Level 2 isolation gowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UCLA Health has issued more than 10 million washable isolation gowns, saved $3.9 million and diverted more 1,180 tons of waste from the landfill since its 2012 pilot program.
Carilion Clinic saved 50% per isolation gown in its conversion, cutting costs more than $850,000 and eliminating 515,000 pounds of waste over 3 years.