Dublin Design Studio
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Inspired by the human grasp, Palmar is a sustainable and practical reimagining of the disposable glove.
Preventative measures are key as we begin to see the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions around the world. Avoiding a ‘second peak’ with low-cost solutions will save millions of lives and, in turn, millions of euros in healthcare costs.
Gloves are a convenient way to keep hands clean and minimise contamination when in public. Not only can gloves protect the physical health of communities, but also empower individuals to carry out daily tasks as we return to a new normal, such as shopping, going to work or attending school, with the confidence that they are protecting themselves and their communities.
However, current glove options on the market are designed for medical professionals and are made from non-biodegradable materials that are harmful to our environment. Furthermore, without practical PPE disposal options, many cities have experienced PPE littering which puts both our environment and local communities at risk.
Taking insights from research on the human grasp, Palmar is a stick-on glove that is designed to protect the areas of the hand that are most vulnerable to contamination from contact surfaces when carrying out daily tasks: the palm, index finger and thumb. Skin safe adhesive is responsibly used to ensure a secure fit while allowing for optimal dexterity and minimising the use of materials.
What makes Palmar different is that it is a fully compostable product. At present, biodegradable gloves on the market typically decompose within 5 years and leave toxic residue. Without the need for elastics, Palmar is able to utilise more environmental solutions, including compostable plastics similar to those used in modern plastic shopping bags, that fully decompose within 6 months, leaving no toxic residue. Palmar is suitable for disposal in food/green waste bins.
Stored in a credit-card sized cardboard sleeve within a wallet or affixed to the lining of a jacket, Palmar ensures protection is always there whenever you need it - whether in the office or out shopping. Press Palmar’s adhesive surface to your hand to secure and all areas of the hand that regularly come into contact with surfaces are protected. After use, Palmar is easily and safely removed using a small cardboard tab at the wrist, reducing the risk of contamination. The sleeve doubles as a safe disposal option and avoids the product from being disposed of inappropriately and contributing to littering.
Palmar’s design has been approved by Dr Katie Cremin, Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy at St James Hospital, Dublin. She sees the benefit of Palmar to a range of people in society, including those returning to work and children returning to school and play groups. She notes in particular the ease of application and removal compared to traditional gloves that makes Palmar an ideal option for children. Group play is an important part of children’s development and with Palmar, children may be able to more safely engage in group play with shared objects without risking their physical health.
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Architects Design Studio
Glasgow School of Art