‘Start of a new era’: How one company started their sustainability journey after 100 years


Iconic Burnaby-based business Watson Gloves sustainability story was recently featured on Global TV. Their sustainability journey began in earnest two years ago. Michele Moore, the company’s director of media and corporate social responsibility, along with the executive team, decided to start their sustainability journey, as they saw the waste that was being created by manufacturers and consumers as well as the increasing demand for more eco-conscious products.

Moore says the company began with baby steps, through initiatives like improving their recycling program, composting food scraps and switching to biodegradable poly bags. But the biggest piece of the puzzle was the gloves themselves.

First, Watson Gloves turned to their popular Grease Monkey line of disposable products that contain latex and nitrile. In 2018 they launched Green Monkey, a disposable glove that uses an additive called Reclaim, which accelerates the product degradation time in landfills to 10 years rather than 200-plus.

According to Christina Yeung, product development manager at Watson Gloves, launching the Green Monkey line involved more than doing proper testing of the additive. It also meant educating customers on the biodegradation process while ensuring the same quality, performance and price point.

“The beautiful part about the sustainable product is that it involves no change for our consumer behaviour in any way. They can use our biodegradable disposable gloves the same way as regular gloves. But when they get disposed of into a landfill, that’s when the magic happens. They will biodegrade faster and turn into renewable energy while leaving no microplastics behind,” Yeung says.

“We are very fortunate that we launched Green Monkey two years ago,” adds Laura Whitlock, director of marketing and innovation. “Because of the pandemic, there’s a huge demand, which also means increased waste for disposable gloves. We’re happy to be able to help combat that waste and give consumers a sustainable option when purchasing disposable gloves.” Read full story here.