You're Green, You Say? Prove It!

My first 12 pairs of 100 percent biodegradable work gloves arrived on a UPS truck yesterday. Reasonably priced, comfortable, and pleasing to the eye, they appeal to me. I use PPE while working at home: protective eyewear, gloves, and ear plugs. I’ve already given pairs of these Go greens gloves to my wife and next-door neighbor, asking both to try them and give me their opinions. When I called Joe McGarry, president of GO Gloves™,, of Cary, N.C., a few days ago, he told me industrial customers bought out his initial container of the gloves, causing him to double his next order.

Joseph D. McGarry, President & CEO"I worked on this for over a year, and I explored a lot of things," he said. "I ended up with bamboo. I tell you, if I was about 10 years younger and knew what I know today about bamboo, I would be investing in and developing bamboo plantations in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. It's an interesting fiber. As I dug in and learned about it and developed it into a yarn and then into a glove, I learned a lot about bamboo that I didn't even know. It's a very impressive fiber. It's turned into a great glove, actually. It's really incredible, and it's so simple. Its moisture absorption is better than cotton, it has a softer feel than cotton. It's as durable as synthetic fiber, as a nylon. Of course, it's compostable. It has natural antibacterial properties. I did UV testing on these, and it 99.9 percent blocks UVA and UVB rays."

"As we put this out there, I generally knew there'd be some genuine interest," he continued. "But a lot of companies out there have their own green initiatives going on. And when they saw this, they just jumped all over this thing. The other thing is, they don't have to pay a premium to go green. All these guys want to go green, but they don't want to pay the premium. And here, they can actually save money."

Industrial users are the second-largest consumer of gloves after health care, and "that means they end up throwing away a lot of gloves," he said. He discovered that companies with green initiatives have special garbage bins for used gloves and pay companies to haul them away and incinerate them. "They said, 'Not only are the gloves not expensive, but we don't have to pay to incinerate them.' . . . I thought that was interesting because it's not something I knew."

The bamboo fiber technology was pioneered at the University of Beijing, Joe said. He started selling the gloves three months ago. Now, he's converting to 100 percent biodegradable packaging made from corn starch. He’s an evangelist for bamboo and for “green” PPE. "Did you know that bamboo is the most sustainable plant on Earth? It just grows; you don't have to plant it. Once you plant it, it just grows and grows," he told me. "You don't have to water it. You don't have to fertilize it. And there's no pesticides required. It actually saves the soil; it clumps the soil and they even use it for areas with problems of erosion. You know, these bamboo plantations are just large factories for photosynthesis: A bamboo plant absorbs five times the amount of carbon dioxide and produces 35 percent more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees."

You can find out more at Joe’s other sites are and You'll find his The Glove Guru blog at

Posted by Jerry Laws on Oct 09, 2009

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