A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Gloves

A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Gloves

Want to gear up without guilting Mother Earth? You’re not alone! 

With eco-consciousness on the rise, people are looking for sustainable options – both in everyday life and in the products they consume, including gloves. At Wells Lamont, we’re staying true to our history of innovation by developing gloves with recycled materials to prove we all can make choices that are both sustainable and functional.

Sustainable Glove Materials

Many common glove materials like synthetics, leather, and processed fabrics take a major toll on the planet through their production processes. By innovating with eco-friendly fabrics and renewable materials, the aim is to reduce the environmental impact without sacrificing durability or quality.

So, which gloves are eco-friendly at Wells Lamont, and what sort of sustainable materials are in the pipeline?

Recycled Fabrics

Wells Lamont has started using recycled fabrics in select gloves, including Model 806/812 and Model 810K/813K. In doing so, consumer waste is redirected from going into landfills and oceans, to being recycled into new backing material.

Special 3M Thinsulate® Insulation

Many gloves from Wells Lamont feature 3M Thinsulate® insulation, helping to keep hands warm without adding bulk or sacrificing dexterity. This technology is now available in special variants, made from post-consumer recycled material. Wells Lamont proudly uses this Thinsulate® variant in a number of gloves.

rPET Technology

rPET, or Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate, is made from repurposed polyethylene terephthalate — one of the most common plastics used make packaging and textiles. Since this material is infinitely recyclable, it can be made into new products to help manufacturers become more sustainable.

With this technology, it may be possible to create high-quality synthetic leathers. Wells Lamont is currently investigating this potential, as it could be a breakthrough in the production of sustainable gloves.

Other Renewable Leathers

Wells Lamont is exploring different leather alternatives, as well. Synthetic leathers made from renewable, vegan materials may also be a viable solution. Currently, there is some momentum around apple and cactus leathers, which could also serve as a useful alternative to traditional leather products.

Are work Gloves Recyclable?

What about gloves that are currently on the market — are they recyclable? Recyclable gloves are being produced, but most of them are single-use, disposable gloves. Most reusable gloves — especially heavy work gloves — aren’t made to be recycled, but possibilities are on the horizon.  Consumers are already seeing more fashion-focused recycled leather products in the market.

The future looks bright for recycling more glove materials as technology improves. For now, the focus is on gloves made of recycled and renewable materials in the first place. Eliminating waste from the start – that’s true sustainability!

What Type of Gloves Can Be Recycled?

Most recycling programs accept all three types of disposable gloves: latex, vinyl, and nitrile gloves. If these gloves are contaminated by chemicals or bacteria, however, they must be thrown away, not recycled. To learn more about the rules of recycling disposable gloves in your area, reach out to your local recycling center.

At this point, you may be wondering about biodegradation. While latex gloves are naturally biodegradable, vinyl and nitrile gloves are not. This makes it even more important to recycle uncontaminated vinyl and nitrile gloves.

When it comes to leather gloves, you can’t just throw them in your recycle bin. However, there is a process for recycling leather. Used or unwanted leather scraps are collected, mixed with natural rubber and shredded into a mixture. This mixture is then colored and pressed into a new sheet of recycled leather, which can be turned into products such as bags, shoes, recycled gloves, and more.

As recycled leather continues to gain momentum, there may be more extensive leather recycling programs in the future.

Explore Sustainable Gloves from Wells Lamont

At Wells Lamont, we’re always looking for ways to create sustainable products without sacrificing quality. As recycled fabrics and renewable leathers continue to evolve, we’re committed to using materials that are gentle on the planet but tough on the job.
Explore our gloves made with recycled fabrics, Model 806/812 and Model 810K/813K. Together, we can keep our hands happy and our planet humming!