The Reusable Gown: A Superior, Sustainable Choice

The recent global pandemic struck supply shortages and increased demand for various products and services in Canada. For hospitals and healthcare facilities in particular, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) were among the more significant shortages. HLS had the perfect solution for customer satisfaction, supply chain management and cost-effectiveness.


HLS Linen Services’ facilities in Ottawa and Woodbridge, Ontario, responded to the need for AAMI Level II-rated reusable isolation gowns, N95 masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, masks, and face shields with our inventory management program. To gain some perspective, prior to the pandemic, HLS shipped 40,000 gowns per week and, at the pandemic’s peak, we shipped over 300,000 weekly and more than 25,000,000 gowns to various customers in the province of Ontario. Through our innovative practices, Ottawa’s location became a regional distribution centre for these highly desired supplies.

Throughout these unpredictable times, we developed strong relationships with our customers and senior administrators in the hospital setting. We ensured demands were met by implementing emergency procedures, such as supplementary soil pickups and air freighting of gowns and increased and accelerated the wash cycles. Compiling quickly, our team devised a plan to work with our customers and suppliers to ensure all necessary PPEs were provided promptly and cost-effectively.


The switch to HLS’ reusable gowns saved hospitals millions of dollars, given the skyrocketing 2000% increase in price from disposable companies. Moving swiftly, we were able to gain product stock and maximize product turnaround time. This ensured doctors, nurses and other front-line workers had the necessary PPE to provide appropriate care to COVID-19 patients. In addition to cost-effectiveness, reusable gowns offer better water resistance, durability and strength. For example, purchasing 60,000 reusable gowns is equivalent to 3,750,000 disposable. Furthermore, the reusable product requires 75 times less space than single-use, a significant savings on material handling and warehouse cost perspectives.

HLS is proud to have actioned a plan that aligns with our values and commitment to environmentally friendly procedures while providing the necessary supplies to healthcare centres. Spearheading a regional distribution plan for reusable products and other personal protective equipment in uncertain times is something the entire team holds in high regard.