By MJ Deschamps
With fast fashion and quick turnover key commercial ingredients of today’s garment and apparel industry, excess textile production is prompting the sector to gravitate towards more recycling and re-use of materials, to conserve energy, increase sustainability and lower raw material costs. (more…)
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are defined as infections not present and without evidence of incubation at the time of admission to a healthcare setting. As a better reflection of the diverse healthcare settings currently available to patients, the term healthcare-associated infections replaced old ones such as nosocomial, hospital-acquired or hospital-onset infections. Within hours after admission, a patient’s flora begins to acquire characteristics of the surrounding bacterial pool. Most infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours of hospitalization are considered hospital-acquired. Infections that occur after the patient is discharged from the hospital can be considered healthcare-associated if the organisms were acquired during the hospital stay. (more…)
Spalding Hospital sits on Boston Harbor in Charlestown. (Photo: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
In an effort to stabalize energy costs hospitals nationwide are investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Host Steve Curwood checks out the innovative design of the new Spaulding hospital with John Messervy Director of Capital and Facilities Planning for Partners’ HealthCare. (more…)
The textile industry needs an affordable, sustainable alternative to oil-based polymers, and a recent study shows that hagfish slime protein threads have the potential to be spun and woven into novel biomaterials.
Hagfishes are an ancient group of eel-like, bottom-dwelling animals that have remained relatively unchanged for more than 300 million years. When threatened, hagfishes secrete a gelatinous slime containing mucous and tens of thousands of protein threads. These threads belong to the “intermediate filament” family of proteins, and they have remarkable mechanical properties that rival those of spider silks. (more…)
Article by Marc Gunther at Greenbiz.com: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/07/26/behind-scenes-sustainable-apparel-coalition?utm_source=E-News+from+GreenBiz&utm_campaign=21c7056b94-GreenBuzz-2012-27-07&utm_medium=email
The story of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition begins with a letter designed to get the attention of even a busy CEO. At the top: the logos of Walmart and Patagonia. John Fleming, who was then Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, and Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, signed the letter, which invited chief executives of some of the world’s biggest clothing companies–fierce competitors, ordinarily — to join together to develop an index to measure the environmental impact of their products.
Their pitch, in part, read like this:
Creating a single approach for measuring sustainability in the apparel sector will do much more than accelerate meaningful social and environmental change. Standardization will enable us to maximize sustainability benefits for all buyers without investing in multiple sustainability technologies and certification processes, and ultimately empower consumers to trust claims regarding sustainably sourced apparel.
Finally, as an industry, we will benefit from the unique opportunity to shape policy and create standards for measuring sustainability before government inevitably imposes one.
…The time is right and the need is great for the apparel sector to move forward now, without further delay, in unison, with strong partners like you.
It was a risky proposition. What if it turned out that a competing company had a better sustainability story to tell? Would consumers be given access to the index? NGOs? Regulators? Most big retailers knew that they had very little visibility deep into their supply chains. Did they really want to find out, for example, that a supplier to one of their suppliers, in a factory they had never visited in China or Vietnam, exploited workers or dumped pollution into a nearby river? Any meaningful index would require companies to ask tough questions and, eventually, face demands from others to share what they had learned.
The letter went out on October 1, 2009. Less than three years later, despite those risks, the apparel industry has made major progress towards creating a global sustainability index, the Higg Index, to measure and score products, factories and companies. A first version was released today by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the nonprofit group that developed the index.
Its vision? Nothing less than “an apparel and footwear industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities.” The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) hired an executive director, Jason Kibbey, in January, and today it has more than 60 members, representing brands, retailers and suppliers who together account for more than a third of the global apparel and footwear industry.
One of our MantraMeds Insiders took our sustainable medical scrubs to Panama on a medical mission. His team performed routine dentistry for people in need while there. He wrote us:
The scrubs were great thanks so much. I was in Penonome, Panama for 2 weeks doing dental work in poor communities. I appreciate you getting me the scrubs so quickly and exchanging sizes, ya’ll made it really easy. They were the best looking scrubs in Panama.
Find out more about the MantraMeds Insider Program here: http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/insider-program/
Sign up to become an Insider here: http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
Repreve Recycled Fiber that we use in MantraMeds Scrubs sells their eco-friendly materials to tons of cool companies! Check out this one – American Flora - Founded by a veteran dancer, American Flora is a line of dance and yoga wear that emphasizes a woman’s true femininity, athleticism and beauty. They create boutique high-performance garments inspired by our passion for dance and the beauty of our natural world. Smart design and extensive use of eco-friendly Repreve® fabric ensures each piece in our collection provides the ultimate combination of luxury, comfort and performance. American Flora is made in the United States from 100% US sourced material.
The organic farming debate is about more than just yields
Yields from organic farming may not match those produced by farmers who use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, but there are other good reasons to buy and support organic — its health benefits, the good that it does for farm workers, even its animal-welfare rules.
So, at least, say executives of the Organic Trade Association, a Washington-based group that represents about 6,500 organic farmers, producers, retailers and suppliers.
“Yield is only one window into organic farming,” says Laura Batcha, executive vice president of the trade group. Organic farming is “good for the environment. It’s good for local economies. It’s good for the farmer incomes.” A 2008 USDA survey of organic production found that organic farms had average annual sales of $217,675, compared to the $134,807 average for U.S. farms overall. Overall, the U.S. organic industry, including fiber as well as food, generated about $31 billion in 2011, up from just $1 billion in 1990. Despite the U.S.’s sluggish economy, organic food and farming remain growth businesses.
I went to see Laura and Christine Bushway, who is CEO of the organic trade group, at their offices on Capitol Hill to talk about several issues, including the push to require labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, the Farm Bill and food safety, including a recent incident of mad cow disease in California. But we talked a lot about yields because it’s in the news: A recent survey of 66 research studies published in Nature, which found that organic yields lag those of conventional farming, has stirred up a bit of a brouhaha. [See my blog post Organic food is not as green as you think, and the comments.]
May 08, 2012 11:06 ET
Health Care Professionals Return From CleanMed Ready to Green Health Care
Conference Provided Education, Tools, Motivation to Speed Health Care Sustainability
WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwire – May 8, 2012) – Health care professionals from across the country are returning to work today with renewed energy and tools for engaging in sustainable health care after attending CleanMed, the nation’s most important conference on health care sustainability. With information on new products, procedures and tools to help hospitals green their operations, including a new free program developed by the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, plus a strong business case, hospitals now have every incentive to begin reducing their environmental footprint.
“At CleanMed, we provided more than 50 multidisciplinary educational sessions that made the business case for health care sustainability as well as highlighted the health concerns of climate change and environmental impacts,” said Laura Wenger, executive director ofPractice Greenhealth, one of the host sponsors of CleanMed. “We are also providing tools, education, practice guidelines and other assistance to hospitals to help them engage in sustainable operations, and we hope they will take advantage of these programs.”
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative, started by Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harmand The Center for Health Design, along with eleven major hospital systems, provides free “How-To” guides and technical assistance for hospitals to engage in sustainability in six areas of hospital operations. Hospitals can enroll for free and proceed at their own pace. The goal of HHI is to speed the engagement in sustainability across the health care sector. A presentation on each of the six areas or “Challenges,” was made at CleanMed for attendees to become more familiar with the program.
“CleanMed has an undeniable re-energizing component to it,” said Gary Cohen, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm. “Attendees are inspired by each other. As attendees see what can be done, they bring back new ideas and information that they need to push their programs forward. And of course, the main reason health care is engaged in this effort is to improve public health, which touches the mission of every hospital and speaks to health professionals, most of which entered their field with this goal in mind.”
The nation’s epidemic of chronic illnesses, much of which can be attributed to environmental factors, is behind the push for accelerating sustainable health care. Heart and lung disease, obesity, cancer, asthma and other chronic illnesses all have environmental components. Treating chronic illness consumes 75 percent of today’s health care expenses.
During CleanMed, Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm announced its annual award winners. Jackie Hunt Christensen has been named the recipient of the 2012 Environmental Health Hero Award, the highest award bestowed by HCWH. Presented annually, the Environmental Health Hero Award recognizes an individual whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to advances in environmental health science or policy. Ms. Christensen is a founder of HCWH and served as one of three co-coordinators who ran the organization following its formation.
“At Health Care Without Harm, with Gary [Cohen] and Charlotte [Brody], I learned to think — and work — both inside and outside ‘The Box.’ I think that strategy has been the key to the campaign’s many successes,” said Christensen.
Health Care Without Harm’s Nurses Work Group, along with The Luminary Project, has named Dr. Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN, as the 2012 Recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award. Dr. Chalupka is Professor of Public Health Nursing and Chair of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing at Worcester State University and also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. The award recognizes a nurse’s endeavors towards “brilliantly lighting the way to a healthier environment and inspiring other nurses to do the same.” Other awards were presented by HCWH honoring nursing students, as well as achievements in waste management.
More than 280 hospitals and supporting businesses received awards from Practice Greenhealth, including six inductees to the Environmental Leadership Circle, Practice Greenhealth’s highest award, which honors facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. Those hospitals are Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Madigan Healthcare System, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, MetroWest Medical Center/Framingham Union Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center/Leonard Morse Hospital.
CleanMed’s companion conference, CleanMed Europe, will take place in Malmo, Sweden, on September 26-28, 2012. CleanMed’s next US conference will be held on April 24-26, 2013 in Boston, Mass.
As you may know, MantraMeds scrubs are cut from a blend of Texas Organic Cotton & Repreve Recycled Polyester, which comes from recycled post-consumer plastics! Found a great website that can serve as an awesome resource for information and trends in recycling plastics. Check it out!
Many community recycling programs are accepting more and more plastics*—and you may be surprised to learn how many types of plastic packaging can be recycled into new, useful products!
- Beverage bottles made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic are collected in most curbside programs. This plastic is often melted, stretched into a fine thread, and then woven into soft, durable fabrics used to make things such as clothing, upholstery, and carpeting. (Tip: it’s okay to leave the caps on the bottles; they’ll be removed and processed separately at the recycling facility.)
- Detergent and cleaning product bottles are usually made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a strong, corrosion-resistant plastic. It is often recycled into outdoor furniture and other durable products such as plastic lumber, park benches, roadside curbs, truck cargo liners, trash receptacles—and new bottles. (Tip: rinse your bottles with water before tossing them in the recycling bin to remove remnants of the detergent or cleaning product.)
- Plastic bags are often made with HDPE or low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic. These bags are collected at many chain grocery stores and large retailers, including Target, Walmart and Lowe’s. Plastic bags generally are recycled into plastic lumber for decks, fences and furniture – and into new plastic bags. (Tip: before recycling bags, be sure they are free of food remnants, and remove any zipper closures. Plastic wraps from drycleaners, newspapers, and many consumer products can be collected with plastic bags.)
- Plastic containers for products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and margarine are now collected in many curbside programs. They are often made with polypropylene (PP) plastic that is recycled into things such as battery cables, landscape borders, cafeteria trays, and furniture. (Tip: some grocery store chains [e.g., Whole Foods] also collect these containers).
- Plastic foam used to make packaging often is made with polystyrene (PS) plastic that has been expanded with air. Innovative recycling programs can turn foam packaging into insulation, picture frames, building products—and new packaging. (Tip: some shipping companies, such as UPS, accept polystyrene foam packing peanuts for re-use.)
When you consider all the different types of new products that can be made with post-consumer plastics, it’s easy to see why they are such valuable materials. Getting the whole family involved in collecting plastics around the house is a great way to make sure this resource doesn’t go to waste. So recycle these and other everyday products—every day.
* Recycling programs differ greatly; check to see what can be recycled in your community.
Check out these other great articles by Plastics Make it Possible:
St. Patty’s day may be over, but our St. Patty’s Day Sale is still going strong! All Jade scrubs on sale through March 31st. Go to http://www.mantramedsmarket.com/st-patricksday/
Earth Day is right around the corner! Find out how to get involved in your community! http://act.earthday.org/events/search/distance/29301
A few of us here at MantraMeds are Clemson University Alumni. Clemson has several student groups dedicated to sustainability. Check them out on Facebook to support their initiatives or to get similar groups started at your alma mater!
Clemson Recycles - Our mission is to promote recycling through coordination and sponsoring events to raise awareness about recycling at Clemson University and in the community. Like Clemson Recycles on facebook!
Solid Green – The mission of the Solid Green Club (SGC) is to function as an active extension of the Clemson University Solid Green Committee (SG) by bringing about a heightened awareness of environmental issues, promoting a “Green Clemson” community and coordinating and sponsoring educational and service activities that further the community’s commitment to a more sustainable environment. Like Solid Green on Facebook!
Students for Environmental Action -Mission is to promote sustainability through advocacy, education, and funding projects that address environmentalism. Like Students for Environmental Action on Facebook!
earthspun tees are made with superior quality, American made, ring spun yarns. The fabric is a unique blend of recycled polyester (RPET) fibers from green, brown and blue plastic bottles. These are combined with American recycled cotton to create an earth friendly, unbelievably soft garment.
The result? Colorful tees that require no dying process, provide superior comfort, long lasting durability and quick drying performance that tread lightly on Mother Earth.
Try earthspun® apparel and feel the difference!
Consumers would increase sustainable apparel purchasing if only they could find it, according to a survey by Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing.
Some 69 percent of consumers considered sustainability at least sometimes when purchasing clothing in 2011 and shoppers intend to double their eco-apparel purchases this year, according to the 2012 Styling Sustainability survey.
But access to green apparel is hampering take-up. A third of consumers who don’t regularly consider sustainability in their apparel purchases said sustainable clothing wasn’t available where they shop. About one in four said they didn’t even know where to purchase sustainable clothing, according to the survey.
When shoppers do buy sustainable clothing, 57 percent said they became aware of eco-attributes through product tags, while 37 percent credited in-store information. Some 61 percent of shoppers expressed interest in an apparel sustainability rating or index.
Read full article here: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/02/09/lack-of-eco-clothing-hampers-sales/
All pink and purple MantraMeds scrubs are on sale now through Feb 14! Go to http://www.mantramedsmarket.com/valentines-day-sale/
The MantraMeds website has some exciting new features to make shopping online that much easier. With additions like a new fit guide and videos of our model sporting each scrub, you’ll feel like you’re in a store trying our scrubs on!
To assist you in choosing the right size the 1st time we have created the Mantrameds Sizing Guide. Choose the style you like and find the fit type description (this is listed in the product description). Now refer to the fit guide drawings and descriptions to make sure you will like the garment’s fit. You can customize the fit to your personal preference easily by sizing up or down.
Read more for examples and pictures!
MantraMeds‘ Colorado and South Carolina teams are getting together this week to discuss exciting happenings for our sustainable scrub brand! A few things to look forward to: new tops, new colors, more pockets, and better fit! We always welcome suggestions from the public. Respond to this blog or write on our Facebook page with any ideas you may have for this Made in USA, eco-friendly scrub brand!
In 2012, MantraMeds is encouraging you to support programs that give back. Here’s an idea – check and see if your alma matter has a student group for environmentalists. See what you can do to support these bright young adults. Below is a picture of Students for Environmental Action at Clemson University, the alma matter of a few of us here at MantraMeds. Check out Clemson’s SEA on Facebook! Search for similar groups at YOUR alma matter at www.facebook.com
This January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! MantraMeds is encouraging you to get screened!
While it seems like every month has a cause attached to it, January’s awareness theme is rather important to women’s health: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Cervical cancer prevention is simple, and deserves as much recognition as breast cancer or any other cancer for that matter.
Read full article here: