In a matter of months, many Canadians and people around the world have adjusted to life with a new and important tool to help reduce the spread of COVID-19: face masks.
Back in May, Canada’s health officials recommended the use of non-medical face masks as an additional layer of protection during the pandemic. Face masks are now mandatory for workers across a multitude of industries and also for passengers on transit in most provinces.
However, individuals and business owners are often unsure of what to look for in terms of quality. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has published guidelines for non-medical masks, poorly made versions have already been recalled in Canada.
This is something that Vancouver entrepreneur Stephanie Sang would like to see come to an end. In July 2020, she launched a company that helps businesses access high-quality, branded masks while allowing for a thorough review of the entire face mask production process: Masked For Work.
Sang started Masked For Work to solve a personal challenge. She needed to safely bring her staff back to the office at Granted Consulting, a business she has been running for nearly a decade.
However, Sang struggled to find high-quality masks on the market that could be branded for her workplace and also met the WHO requirements: namely, breathable material; a minimum of three layers in total (depending on the fabric) including an absorbent inner layer; and a water-resistant outer layer to prevent contaminants from sticking on the mask.
Rather than using traditional polyester, which is a plastic made of petroleum, the company uses certified recycled polyester which is transformed from waste like plastic bottles to make masks. This significantly reduces environmental damage by reducing petroleum extraction, energy consumption, and waste. Recycled polyester also lasts longer than other fabrics.
“Not all masks are made the same. I wasn’t able to find quality branded masks for my staff and this led me to design them for workplaces. That’s why we developed a three-layer mask that not only looks good, but also provides a high level of protection,” Sang explains.
Every step of the design process was carefully thought-out and several prototypes were made before reaching the final design.
Sang lived through the SARS outbreak in Taiwan and saw how masks made all the difference in keeping locals safe. As a country with 23.7 million people (that’s approximately the size of Vancouver Island), Taiwan has had only seven reported COVID-19 deaths to date.
Since the SARS crisis, policies, laws, and institutions were developed in Taiwan in preparation for potential future outbreaks. This year, health officials implemented widespread mask use and even app-based distribution of masks to protect citizens.
Masked For Work products are made in a facility that Sang’s family has ownership of. They specialize in developing high-tech and certified recycled material, allowing her team to oversee production and quality control. This also helps Sang ensure ethical working conditions and pay (above the living wage) for those who are making masks at the facility.
Masked For Work is committed to helping organizations and individuals in Canada and the US brand their own face masks and have access to quality protective products. Whether with a logo, company or school name, or a restaurant catchphrase, this custom feature is another way to help build a safe sense of community among groups navigating the pandemic.
The company recently developed masks for children and families and have made products more accessible with BubbleYou five-packs, BubbleFam family packs, and BubbleTeam business packs on their online store.
For a limited time, Masked For Work is offering a special deal for Daily Hive readers. Use the coupon code DAILYHIVE to get 10% off your online purchase for your organization or family (offer expires September 30, 2020).