When it comes to gloves,
we focus on the essentials.

OUR GLOVES, BAGS, AND APPAREL KEEP ESSENTIAL WORKERS AND BUSINESSES SAFE. AND WHEN YOU BUY A CASE, YOU’RE HELPING TO FIGHT HUNGER IN AMERICA.

Food insecurity could increase to more than 50 million people, including 17 million children. As an Elara customer, you’re helping to make a difference. For each case you buy, Elara donates a meal to a person struggling with hunger in America.

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Get “Gloves On” — our Guide to the Proper Use of Disposable Gloves in the Era of COVID-19.

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Frequently asked questions

Gloves and Covid-19, Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What’s causing glove shortages and price increases?

A:

The global spread of the coronavirus has created sharp increases in demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – including disposable gloves – and glove manufacturing capacity has not been able to keep up. This is leading to shortages and surging prices.

Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols and new worker safety guidelines are also increasing glove use outside of healthcare – in restaurants, package delivery services, retail establishment and many other types of businesses.

Making matters worse: COVID-19 outbreaks at some glove manufacturing facilities in Asia, where most of the world’s gloves are made, are reducing output at the worst possible time.

Q:

What types of disposable gloves are being affected?

A:

Form-fitting gloves – primarily nitrile, latex and vinyl – are being impacted the most.

Nitrile gloves are experiencing the worst shortages and sharpest price increases.

Latex supplies are tight and costs are high.

Vinyl gloves are more readily available, though prices are significantly elevated compared to where they were before the pandemic.

Gloves made from polyethylene such as hybrid elastipolymer gloves and traditional loose-fitting poly gloves are not used for healthcare applications and are therefore more readily available.

Q:

How do we manage costs given such sharp price increases?

A:

Paying more for gloves will be unavoidable, though you can take action to control your costs to the greatest extent possible. Know your options and be flexible about trying alternatives. For more information on glove options read our blog on the glove market outlook.

For example, if you use nitrile gloves, there are new types of PVC-based synthetic gloves that may be a viable alternative. If you’re a vinyl glove user, switching to a polyethylene-based hybrid glove will save you significant money.

It is important that you understand specifications and make sure an alternative glove is suitable for the application. Test gloves whenever possible and review chemical resistance information.

A word of caution: There is an increase in scams and fraud. If and offer sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam.

Q:

Given the start of vaccinations, how long will glove shortages and high prices last?

A:

Expect the situation to persist well into 2021, perhaps to the end of the year.

Administering vaccines will be a huge global undertaking taking many months. Giving hundreds of millions of doses will require significant disposable gloves use and glove changing by healthcare workers administering shots.

In the near term, the surge in COVID-19 cases around the country will further strain glove supplies. From a capacity standpoint, building new production lines take a year more. Planned new nitrile glove production is already sold out through 2021.

Q:

Will glove supplies and prices get back to normal once the coronavirus crisis is over?

A:

While there should be some relief from shortages and high prices, there will be a new normal. We do not expect the glove prices to go back down to pre-pandemic levels.

As COVID-19 gets under control, glove use will remain elevated due to a heightened awareness by consumers and businesses about disease prevention, safety and hygiene.

And as the economy recovers, the reopening of restaurants, schools, sports venues, office buildings and travel will increase glove demand across many, if not most industries.