The New Normal: Face Masks

We have all been living in an uncertain and a tense few months. Slowly the new normal becomes more clear, including face masks, plexiglass and distance.


We specifically say new, because even though we will be using public transportion and going out to dinner again, measurements will be taken to try and keep all of us safe and healthy. Covid-19 or better known as the Coronavirus has changed our lifestyle and social interactions drastically.


In many countries non-medical face masks are compulsory in public (transportation). These masks are not a 100% guarantee against infection but do have a protective function. You do not only wear a mask to prevent touching your face, or getting infected by others near you, but also to protect others, in case you yourself are (unknowingly) infected.


Trends

Trends come and go. Some you let pass by because you don't feel attracted to them. Some you are an absolute fan of and you continue to wear even tho it is "over" already. Trends are a momentary thing, some are even more like a hype. Unfortunately trends are not often sustainably as fast fashion is often involved. Goods are quickly produced with less eye for quality. If the trend doesn't run out quickly, you may wear it out quickly. As you know, we choose to go for a more timeless and quality based approach.


Usually you can opt in on trends, or you don't. The choice is yours. This one however, is mandatory.

Face masks are becoming a new trend. Not because people specifically like it, think it's cool or that it finishes their look. No it's mandatory. We need it. It's a different type of trend than we are used to. It's not a hype even tho it probably has the biggest impact of all trends in recent history.


Nobody can pass by this trend, also the trend itself will most likely not pass by very quickly. So we decided to look into sustainable alternatives. Checking the do's and don'ts of these non-medical masks such as fabric types, fits and washing properties.


Materials

We researched quality fabrics which comply with both the demand of face masks and our vision.

By governments and medical professionals it is advised to use cotton for these masks. It is breathable which is the most important property, a it will be covering both your nose and mouth. Also, summer is approaching and we are not looking forward to the sweaty results less breathable fabrics could create.


Cotton is natural fiber, but it is not sustainable at all. Many chemicals are used in the growing process of cotton, impacting not only the land negatively but also the workers. Besides chemicals a lot of water is needed to grow and process cotton (source: Milieu Centraal). For 1 kilo of cotton, approximately 8.000 litres of water is needed, you can compare this with the amount needed for a denim (source: NRC).


More sustainable options in the range of cotton are Organic Cotton and Recycled Cotton. Organic Cotton still uses great amounts of water and is heavy on the land, however is reduced to (almost) nothing compared to regular cotton. Recycled Cotton is produced with pre-existent cotton fibers, the crop does not need to be grown so it has no impact on land usage and it barely uses water and chemicals (source: Milieu Centraal). Unfortunately Recycled Cotton fibers are often not strong enough to create a durable fabric on its own, that's why it's often complemented with Organic Cotton, Recycled PET or Tencel.


The fabrics used in our face masks mainly consist of Recycled Cotton, complemented with Organic Cotton, Recycled PET and Tencel. The fabrics are woven in The Netherlands and finished for quality in Germany. The fabrics are sourced and purchased from Enschede Textielstad.


Trial and error

We went through a lot of trial and error before we came to our final model of the Face Mask. The straps, for example, have been tested with cords you pull and close yourself and elastic, attached in different ways. We tested the straps behind the ears and behind the head. For the model; we tested a pleated one and a shaped model. Other details; we tested metal nose pieces and filter pockets. We read reviews and asked around for experiences and demands. The prototyping stage was executed in our own atelier. The production is outsourced in The Netherlands to atelier Plompverloren.


One mask, two looks Obviously, comfort is subjective. But we hope our subjective matches with yours. To prevent pulling and irritation at the ears and ensure an easy and comfortable experience we chose to place elastic straps behind the head. The elastic straps are easily fitting to many sizes of heads and are easy to wear. We developed a fitted mask covering from top of the nose until beneath the chin.


A mask is literally so in your face. With a reversible mask at least you can change your look easily and often.

Our masks are reversible, meaning you basically have two masks in one, easily matching your outfit or just to change your look or mood. We strongly advise to only change sides after washing your maks.


Packaging

Due to hygienic reasons, all masks are separately packaged in a sealed bag, made out of plastic. Not necessarily a sustainable material, however it is reusable for the purpose of carrying your mask safely when it's not in use. Each time you wash your mask, we advise you to disinfect the plastic cover as well, outside & inside. Will you not be using the cover any longer? Please remember to dispose it at plastic recycling to prevent pollution.


Sizing We have two fits available: Small and Lager. Small size is most suitable for women and teenagers, large is most suitable for men. Specifics on sizing you can find on our product page. Shop your mask here. Is your favourite mask out of stock? Please let us know and we will see what we can do for you.


With your purchase, we deliver some tips and advice on how to use your mask safely and how to wash it sustainably. All information is based on the information supplied by governments and doctors.


We are happy to present you our non-medical face masks and grateful to have had the pleasure to work with local suppliers. Your mask is developed and produced with passion.


Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to email us at hello@nhncd.nl


Please note that due to hygiene reasons, masks are packaged in a sealed bag. Once the sealing is broken purchases cannot be returned.

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