Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has collaborated with San Francisco-based firm O2Today to design pollution masks made from wool.
O2Today says the mask is the world’s first to be made from all-natural materials and is able to filter 95% of air pollutants, ensuring better breathability for the wearer.
Made using a sustainable process and environmentally conscious materials, the idea of the mask is that it doesn’t contribute the pollution it protects its users from.
“Our focus at O2Today has been creating a more effective urban air pollution mask that people will actually feel good about wearing,” said the company’s chief medical officer Amit Mehta.
“The current complement of medical masks does not provide effective filtration for the most harmful pollutants, while effective masks are simply too difficult to breathe through.”
Wanders commented on the design, saying: “When designing, we must look into the future and visualise the ecological impact that a design or object will have on an individual or indeed a wider social network.”
“Therefore, we created a mask out of a material that doesn’t add to the problem it is trying to solve, the pollution problem.”
The mask is available in six different designs such as floral and geometric patterns and is sold for $34 dollars in New Zealand, Australia, and Korea, with plans to expand the product to China and Southeast Asia later this year. There has yet been no word of the product making its debut in the Middle East.
Each mask can be re-worn between 15 to 45 days, depending on the level of pollution with two adult sizes currently in market with plans to introduce children’s sizes.
O2Today is also currently researching further into products that protect from the effects of airborne pollution, including other wearable items as well as skincare.
Wanders said of the project: “Conceptually, we have married local culture with a modern design aesthetic to compile tales told from legends through sophisticated verses of poetry.”