Textiles: The Responsible Choice
handling of medical waste is a serious issue for communities across
the United States. Every year, 3.3 million tons of medical waste
goes into landfills, while the incineration of medical waste is
the nations single largest source of dioxin air pollution.
This material includes doctor, nurse and patient gowns, wraps and
diapers. These products can be washed, sterilized, and reused, and
yet only 5% of these products are made from reusable material, while
manufacturers of disposable textile products produce the other 95%.
The American Reusable Textile Association, a national non-profit
trade organization, wanted to increase the awareness of the benefits
of reusable textiles. The goal was to convey to the audience that
reusable textiles are safe, reliable, and economic; incorporate
the latest technological advancements; and are the right choice
for the environment. They chose Green Fire to refine the organizations
message, help define its target audience and produce two video programs
for both the medical and long term health care markets.
Fire developed a program with two versions, one to appeal to each
target audience and market: medical facilities and long-term health
care facilities. More specifically, Green Fire targeted those who
make purchasing decisions at hospitals, clinics, and long-term care
facilities, along with nurses and surgeons who have switched to
using reusable textiles. Testimonies from experts from these fields
were determined to communicate most effectively to those considering
the use of reusables. The interviews spoke to the initial concerns
people had about making such a change, and conveyed their satisfaction
and confidence with the reusable products safety, reliability,
cost, and environmental impact. An on-camera host led the audience
through the decision-making process and spoke directly to viewers
members are using 500 copies of the programs across the U.S. and
throughout Europe, at trade shows and with legislators in Washington,
D.C., to bring home their message and elevate the issue so customers
and legislators are now thinking about reusable textiles and incorporating
them into their decision-making. The trade association representing
the disposable textiles industry got a copy of the tapes and showed
it at one of their membership meetings. That industry now takes
the reusable textiles industry very seriously. The videos have boosted
ARTAs image and credibility, and are helping it combat the
disposable companies marketing efforts.
programs effectively portray the reusable/disposable debate and
people understand very quickly the benefits of reusable textiles.
I would say that it has been valuable from a marketing standpoint
to pull reusable products into the system versus pushing
them into the market through direct sales. Credibility for reusable
textiles has certainly been achieved through the use of the videos
both for ARTA and our member companies. It used to be that the disposable
industry was not even concerned with us. Today they take us very
seriously. We knew you werent going to be working for one
of our competitors tomorrow, and thats important to us."
Brad Bushman, American Reusable Textiles Association.