The True Cost of a Disposable Glove

Disposable gloves and clothing are frequently an afterthought and “just add them to the cart” items because a company needs them. Often suppliers don’t know or don’t care about these products, where they came from or how they were made.

At Eagle Protect, we care...a lot! To ensure the quality and safety of our products our Eagle team visits and audits our suppliers regularly. We check on staff conditions, pay, the quality of our products, the factory’s environmental impact and that our suppliers are complying with our Supplier Code of Conduct.

This is why the extra effort matters. Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes up the cost of a disposable glove (nitrile, latex or vinyl).

Cost Breakdown of a Glove

Everything else (15%) includes items such as import duties & government charges

If a product is cheap, something has been compromised in the chain. The biggest opportunity for a supplier to cut costs is to change the raw materials and minimize factory and staff expenses. Cheaper raw materials often have impurities, producing a lower quality product and causing potential toxicity problems by using cheap fillers and toxic compounds. Quality can also be compromised when factory and staff expenses are reduced due to the use of unskilled or forced labor, poor work conditions and shortcuts in quality control and testing.

Raw materials make up around 45% of a glove’s cost, so you can see how important they are to the quality of a glove. Cheaper raw materials used can lead to:

  • Less strength, flexibility and durability

  • Toxicity problems

Poor disposable glove manufacturing processes can:

  • Lead to potential skin irritations: Washing tanks are expensive to run so factories will often wash the disposable gloves less to save costs. This leads to a longer build-up of microbes and chemicals on the gloves, acting as an irritant to the gloves wearer. 

  • Increase bacteria count on gloves (not ideal since the glove touches your product or food)

  • Lead to inconsistent product quality

Using cheaper raw materials only weakens the product physically and chemically. A few years ago a container from a prominent Malaysian manufacturer was turned back at an International European border for high cyanide levels in the disposable nitrile gloves. A direct result of using low-quality raw materials, and poor processing and quality procedures!

Purchasing from a trusted supplier with an established system of checks and safeguards like Eagle Protect allows you to focus on your business knowing you are using a quality glove made the right way.

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