FALL RIVER, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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, a nearly 200-year-old brand with a deep heritage of product innovation and a leading domestic manufacturer of PPE, and Precision Fabrics Group (PFG), vertically integrated experts in weaving and finishing the most technically challenging continuous-filament fabrics in the world.
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.”
High-resolution images and company logos can be downloaded here.
Merrow Medical Net Zero PPE™ / Precision Protection™ Quick Facts
- Merrow Manufacturing and Precision Fabrics have developed Net Zero PPE™ to do our part in eliminating what is an overwhelming volume of plastic waste that is sent to our nations’ landfills annually.
- Net Zero PPE™ is a first-in-industry manufacturing program representing a commitment to climate action and decarbonization while re-engineering the nation’s critically important medical garment/PPE supply chain.
- The nation’s largest vertical supply chain for the manufacture of recycled healthcare soft-good products, Net Zero PPE™ will create at least 500 jobs at factories in Massachusetts and California, and will support jobs at Precision Fabrics and our supporting supply chain in Virginia and North Carolina.
- Each Merrow Medical Net Zero PPE™ gown or scrub set that is manufactured repurposes approximately 40 recycled plastic bottles and – once the garments are retired – they can be recycled again, eliminating the cost of disposal for healthcare systems.
- The United States uses an estimated two billion disposable isolation gowns annually. If 10% of all disposable gowns were converted to Net Zero PPE™, it would result in the elimination of 200 million disposable gowns, 80 million plastic bottles could be repurposed and more than 50 million pounds of plastic waste could kept from U.S. landfills.
About Merrow Group Companies
Merrow, est. 1838, is owned and operated by Owen and Charlie Merrow, 8th generation members of the Merrow family, with diversified manufacturing interests and headquarters on the six-acre Merrow campus in downtown Fall River, MA. Merrow’s major divisions are: Manufacturing, Brands, Medical and Wholesale parts & equipment. Today, the Merrow Manufacturing division is known for developing and building apparel, gear and instrumented soft goods. In 2017 and 2018 Merrow was awarded manufacturer of the year in the State of MA, the 2018 MassINC Gateway City Innovation Award, the 2017 Constellation Supernova award for technology innovation, the 2019 Cornerstone Entrepreneur Award from Bristol Community College and is one of the fastest growing companies in Massachusetts. Most recently Merrow has been recognized by Forbes, the WSJ, the State of MA and RI for leadership and investment in the medical supply chain. Learn more at www.merrowmfg.com.
About Precision Fabrics Group
Precision Fabrics Group was created in 1988 in a leveraged buyout from Burlington Industries, and continues today as a privately-held company. The Company has evolved from a traditional textile manufacturer into an engineered materials business, focused on highly technical, high-quality woven and nonwoven materials. Today, PFG employs approximately 600 associates and operates plants in Greensboro, NC, Virginia and Tennessee. Corporate headquarters are located in Greensboro. The Vinton, VA plant specializes in weaving some of the most technically challenging continuous-filament fabrics in the world. The Greensboro and Madison, TN facilities produce world class, medical and industrial nonwoven products. For more information, visit www.precisionfabrics.com.
Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) is a global textile solutions provider and one of the world's leading innovators in manufacturing synthetic and recycled performance fibers. Through REPREVE®, one of Unifi's proprietary technologies and the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, Unifi has transformed more than 20 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods and other consumer products. The Company's proprietary PROFIBER™ technologies offer increased performance, comfort and style advantages, enabling customers to develop products that perform, look and feel better. Unifi continually innovates technologies to meet consumer needs in moisture management, thermal regulation, antimicrobial, UV protection, stretch, water resistance and enhanced softness. Unifi collaborates with many of the world's most influential brands in the sports apparel, fashion, home, automotive and other industries. For more information about Unifi, visit www.Unifi.com.
Made by Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI), REPREVE® is the global leader in branded recycled performance fibers, transforming more than 20 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new clothing, shoes, home goods and other consumer products. REPREVE is the earth-friendly solution to making consumers' favorite brands more environmentally responsible. Found in products from many of the world's leading brands, REPREVE fibers can also be enhanced with Unifi's proprietary technologies for increased performance and comfort. For more information about REPREVE, visit www.repreve.com, and connect with REPREVE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. REPREVE® is a trademark of Unifi, Inc.