Circular isolation gowns

The Circular isolation gowns initiative developed a sustainable reusable and circular alternative to today’s disposable medical gowns. The protective clothing for healthcare impacts on several fronts.

Production of the circular isolation gown has hardly any negative environmental impact. Moreover, local production, cleaning and maintenance contribute to regional activity. This also reduces dependence on global chains and increases security of supply – a key concern since Covid. The initiative thus addresses multiple issues surrounding isolation clothing in healthcare.

Why circular isolation gowns?

The Dutch healthcare sector is responsible for nearly seven percent of national greenhouse gas emissions, a substantial portion of which is due to healthcare clothing. Every year, the healthcare sector in the Netherlands consumes about 15 million disposable plastic gowns. Taking into account the fast approaching ageing of the population and an expanding supply in healthcare services, the need for sustainability in the healthcare sector is growing.

A consortium of organisations from all links in the chain has therefore developed and successfully tested a reusable isolation gown, made of organic cotton with a water-repellent finish. Read more in this news article.

The healthcare facilities involved are now working with 2,500 circular isolation gowns, which are expected to be washed and reused 80 times or more and then returned to the (hospital) textile chain through a closed loop recycling method. This results in less waste of materials and cleaner production.

What we are working on

  • Research application in use
  • Refining a social business case and building a model for impact financing
  • Explore options for a materials bank for a cascade model of materials
  • Three healthcare facilities launched circular isolation gowns in 2023
  • Development of decision-making support tool for buyers, by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • Meeting of boards of directors of several healthcare institutions by PwC.

Join us

Would your organisation also like to contribute to the Circular isolation gowns initiative? For more information and to join us, please contact Claire Teurlings, Lead Circular Economy.

The Circulair isolation gowns initiative is part of the Green Deal Circular Textiles.

Claire Teurlings | Amsterdam Economic Board

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