“ SHOWA, CABVI Address Critical COVID-19 PPE Gloves Supply Needs With First U.S. Manufacturing & Distribution Agreement ”

SHOWA is the only domestic manufacturer of Nitrile, single-use PPE gloves; expanded Alabama facility capacity reduces U.S. reliance on overseas suppliers.

SHOWA®, a fully integrated manufacturer of industrial and household PPE gloves, and the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) manufacturing division, today announced a strategic partnership to meet critical current and future supply needs for COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gloves in the United States.

The U.S. remains highly vulnerable to COVID-19 PPE demand shocks as cases continue to accelerate in multiple states and amidst concerns of a pandemic “second wave” in the Fall. Not only are less than half of all PPE manufactured in North America, but more than 95% of PPE gloves are currently manufactured in Asia (predominantly China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) – which means the U.S. is exposed to foreign production disruptions.

SHOWA is currently the only U.S. manufacturer of the Nitrile, single-use PPE gloves that front-line industrial, service, transportation, healthcare and government workers rely on. In late 2019, SHOWA invested significantly in its Fayette, Alabama glove manufacturing facility, and now has the production capacity to meet a 5-year Nitrile glove supply need – today

“Meeting current and future demand for PPE gloves that are made in America is a matter of National Security, and our strategic partnership with CABVI reaffirms our mission to support organisations whose front-line workers are the first and last line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic,” said Richard Heppell, COO Americas, Oceania & EMEA, SHOWA. “At the same time, our strategic facility expansion last year means that we have available capacity for Federal, state and local government agencies seeking a domestic source for high-quality, proven Nitrile gloves.”

Ed Welsh, President & CEO of CABVI adds, “Nearly half of our employees are legally blind or visually impaired, a historically underserved segment of the workforce that has been particularly hard-hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Through this partnership with SHOWA, and our government contracts via the AbilityOne® Programme, we can serve the dual purpose of supporting our customers’ efforts to protect the health of front-line workers and citizens, while ensuring we can retain and produce jobs for the communities we serve, by packaging and distributing the SHOWA gloves we sell.”

Key facts about SHOWA’s Alabama manufacturing facility:

  • Capacity to manufacture 4 million pcs per week of PPE gloves – today. Investments in additional production lines and innovation enables SHOWA to meet the 5-year PPE glove supply, producing an additional 16 million pieces per week
  • Industry’s first biodegradable nitrile gloves. SHOWA’s revolutionary Eco Best Technology® (EBT) makes a difference to the environment and has proven even more critical during the pandemic as 150 billion pairs of gloves are produced every year, while an estimated 100 billion pairs of gloves are thrown away each year.
  • Creating jobs for Alabama. SHOWA currently employs more than 400 workers in the U.S., with plans to expand the workforce significantly in the coming months.

To learn more about how SHOWA can meet your COVID-19 PPE glove requirements with gloves that are manufactured and distributed in the U.S., visit the SHOWA Made in America product page.


SHOWA is synonymous with the highest degree of hand protection and innovation. We pioneer revolutionary technology and create over 1,800 gloves, each meticulously engineered to provide the perfect protection for the task at hand. With 58 patents owned and more than 100 researchers and developers dedicated to making our best even better, we blaze a trail for our industry without imitation. SHOWA’s unparallelled quality is achieved through 100% integrated manufacturing, giving us complete control at every stage of design and production. Down to every fibre, our gloves are created better to perform better, unleashing new potential for hands at work.


The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) is a social enterprise established in 1929 by community leaders in Utica, N.Y., who recognised a need to provide services and employment to people who are blind or visually impaired. CABVI serves more than 1,800 people of all ages, generally free of charge, who are blind or visually impaired, in an eight-county region of Central New York. CABVI provides employment opportunities and a variety of vision rehabilitation services including low vision examinations, vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, instruction in the use of assistive technology applications, employment training, adaptive recreation and sports, and social work.

Menlo, GA and Utica, NY, July 22, 2020

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