Pizarro laundries in Portugal , and one of the largest in Europe, is known for its innovations in the field of washing. Besides being the first one to launch ice wash, the company brought out the Eco Blast – a process which is claimed as the ‘ World’s First Substitute of Sandblasting’. Sandblasting , as we all know , has been banned by many brands in the last few years due to its very harmful effects on the workers . Inspite of its ban by leading brands, the sandblasting process continues to be used clandestinely by many companies around the world. One of the reasons for the same is the non-availability of an economic and easy replacement for the process. However, the Ecoblast process by Pizarro is claimed to be the first completely safe and certified replacement to the sandblasting process. We spoke to Vasco Pizarro – Marketing Director at Pizarro Laundries- to know more about this new process and he gave some insights on what the process is about and how they intend to use it.
1. Hi Vasco ! Eco blast from Pizarro is supposed to be the first alternative to sandblasting in the world. Is it true? Pl explain the process for our readers
Yes Sandeep, it is true, this process is the first in the world to be completely certified as a sandblast substitute.
The principle is the same where we use a high pressure hose to deliver an abrasion blast to the garments, except that we change all the things that could cause any harm to workers. We started by the building where we installed a revolutionary exhaust system that cleans the workspace for the workers, at the same time, all the booths are connected to this exhaust system that separates all the bigger particles and reuses it, the smaller ones go to special filters that are cleaned every day. We have developed a special abrasion material that we called EcoPowder and is present at the European Union Chart of Non Hazardous products, so with this, the values that were analyzed by an independent lab regarding exposure to dust were very very low. Even with this all the workers have to use special masks so they are protected at all times, as well as hear protection and every six months all the workers are subject of hear, eyes and lung tests. To help the workers we also created a special belt for back support so the workers don’t have lumbar problems.
2. What are the major disadvantages of sandblasting that you have overcome
That is a very good question Sandeep, but as you know this traditional process is one of the worst problems of the textile industry and people around the world are subject of very bad conditions that lead to disease or even death. We created this answer with the well being of workers in mind so there was no major or minor disadvantage to overcome but a problem as a whole to deal, so we are confident that this represents a new era in our industry where the environment protection and the workers well being have to play a key role in our strategies.
3. Is your process patented?
Yes, this process is world patented by our company.
4. What is the main purpose behind this new technology. Do you wish to serve your customers with it or will you also share/sell the same to other laundries around the world?
As I said earlier this response is part of a sustainability policy that our company has been developing for several years, so for now our main purpose is to serve our clients and the more than 18 million garments that annually pass through our company. Innovation is part of Pizarro’s DNA, we are company that modifies all of its machines, that find new uses, new techniques and new process for all the technology that our team creates. This industry its evolving to a state where everyone wants information but do not want the hassle of creating something new. Sharing is out of the question and selling technology is not our business but we are not closed to any kind of challenge.
5. Is there a particular certification which helps to calculate the overall impact of your process?
When we say that our process is certified by an independent lab of course we have the overall study of our process. In this case the lab had in mind the standard values of European Union laws, that are already some of the most tightest in the world, and evaluated our process in exposure to dust, exposure to noise and environment illumination. It is certified for the well being of the most important player in this process, the worker….
We don’t know how such processes can be spread out around the world to make the textile industry more responsive to worker needs and less polluting. But we can say that the such innovations provide great directions for the industry to take up and reform.
The process of Ecoblast can be more easily understood in the following video by the company . Check it out !