Many South Africans are now appreciating the virtues of good design as we don face masks to go back to work and be out in public. Trouble getting them on, discomfort while wearing them, steamy spectacles and getting short of breath are some of the challenges we are facing as we strive to protect ourselves and others from the ongoing threat of COVID-19 infection.
In the early stages of lockdown, Woolworths worked closely with one of its local clothing suppliers to rapidly develop a mask for its frontline employees that met government guidelines with the focus being on performance, comfort and the ability to be reusable. Since then, in-depth research into latest technologies and extensive wearer trials have been conducted to inform the design of an ultimate mask for their employees which is now also available for customers to purchase.
“In the mask design process and to ensure effectiveness of our fabric face mask, we collaborated with multiple industry specialists including fabric and product manufacturers to produce a non-medical, re-useable, adult, fabric face mask. We also did extensive research into potential virus protecting finishes, which screen out potential viral and bacterial pathogens,” says Thilu Govender, Woolworths: Head of Strategic Sourcing.