How Solarglide Delivers Sustainability Through Design

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Carnival fabric used for SG Silhouette blackout shades removes 99% of coronavirus particles

Pre-pandemic, cruise and ferry operators were very focused on sourcing sustainable products for their construction and renovation projects. Most of the inquiries Solarglide received were for solar powered motorized window covering solutions and sustainable fabrics. In fact, we had so many of them that we adapted our range to include more motorized products and started to network with fabric designers to obtain additional environmentally friendly fabrics.

However, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to accelerate in 2020 and travel restrictions and social distancing were imposed globally, cruise and ferry operators began to disrupt services and to suspend or cancel many of their pre-planned development projects. Big budgets for interior design suddenly got much smaller and operators shifted from prioritizing sustainability to reducing virus transmission. Understandably, the number of window covering requests decreased, but our team capitalized on the unexpected downtime to assess how we could improve our business and better serve the industry.

Solarglide’s desire was to continue to develop window coverings that could help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. We had already established a global presence with our popular line of SG Glider deck sunscreens, which are made with Carnival fabric and offer protection by removing 99% of coronavirus particles from the fabric surface within an hour. However, our attention has recently turned to curtains and soft accessories.

Now whenever a designer specifies materials, we proactively suggest an equivalent with antimicrobial properties, like the Panaz ShieldPlus range, environmentally friendly textiles or alternative fabrics approved by the International Maritime Organization, similar. to those originally specified. These sustainable alternatives are often beneficial for tight budgets, but still ensure the safety and comfort of those on board, without compromising on aesthetics.

Over the past year, we have engaged in product development, made reducing our environmental impact a priority, and broadened our knowledge of the textile industry. Now that global restrictions are starting to ease, the shipbuilding and equipment industries could start to see an increase in domestic spending.

Installing motorized blinds and curtains made of bacteria-resistant textiles allows operators to easily reduce human contact and the spread of viruses, while ensuring that they are durable enough for areas on board with high traffic.

Paul Pringle is Managing Director of Solarglide

This article first appeared in the 2021 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at time of printing, but may have changed since.

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