Tuesday, June 8, 2021

News: Made in Rotherham - the world's most sustainable face mask


A supermodel, a leading design and technology company, and a laboratory in Rotherham, is the unlikely combination that aims to bring new technologies to air filtration - starting with face masks.

A joint venture between supermodel turned angel investor, Natalia Vodianova, and Pentatonic, Masuku has been in the works for more than four years. It flowed from a recognition that, as consumer products, masks were nowhere near to delivering the sophistication of other product categories which centre around filtration and protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses and bottled water. And as for sustainability, comfort and breathability, the market was years behind.

Aiming to revolutionise the product category, the venture started from scratch. The core of Masuku’s unique technology is a new kind of nano-fibre filtration material created from an engineered compostable polymer, using a newly developed electrospinning process. Compared with meltblown fibres, which are used to make the majority of face masks currently available, the electrospinning process is able to create a structured membrane consisting of extremely fine nano-fibres (up to 1,000 times narrower than a human hair) dispersed with extreme precision for maximum efficiency.

Masuku’s revolutionary nano-fibre filtration material is being produced on site at the company’s AirLab in Hellaby, Rotherham. The facility is responsible for producing Masuku’s proprietary nanofiber filtration fabric and assembling face masks under highly controlled conditions.

Johann Boedecker, CEO of Pentatonic, co-founder and technology provider of Masuku, said: "We have invested significant time and resources perfecting the creation of a mask that has better filtration, more breathability and unparalleled comfort and style. Our range of masks will protect you from airborne pathogens, allergens and pollutants, all without damaging the environment as other solutions do."

Jamie Hall, chief brand officer of Pentatonic, co-founder and technology provider of Masuku, added: “Introducing unique technologies that are groundbreaking in both filtration performance and sustainability, to a sector in such need of advancement, is a source of great pride and excitement for the Pentatonic and Masuku families. We’re taking ‘Made in the UK’ to a whole new level of sustainable innovation.”

Taking its name from the Japanese for mask, the company's face masks are pitched as the world's most sustainable face mask. They are made using recycled materials that can be re-recycled when it’s time to dispose of them. What’s more, the replaceable filters are bio-based, allowing for easy, environmentally-friendly disposal.

Masuku website

Images: Masuku


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