At the time of writing, the world is in the midst of a global pandemic from COIVD-19, a highly contagious illness that is spread through droplets that hang in the air or on surfaces after people cough or sneeze. While liberal use of hand sanitiser is one way to fight COVID, the other is the use of facemasks that provide 2-way protection. Masks have proven very useful in helping curb the spread of COVID, especially in crowded metropolitan areas.
While sensible people understand the need to wear a mask, it can be confusing to know which are most effective and convenient for long-term use, and many have relied on single-use surgical masks that aren’t kind to the environment. A solution to this is the Leisuremask – a reusable facemask designed by established firm Zyron Environmental in the UK.
Founder of Zyron Environmental Gary Tunley was kind enough to answer some questions about the Leisuremask.
Hi Gary, what’s your background before Leisuremask UK?
I have always worked in industries related to health and wellbeing.
My career began as a salesman selling regular PPE product to industry.
I established and ran a company designing & manufacturing world-class cut resistant clothing for the glass industry, which continues today. This gave me a great insight into technical fabrics.
Latterly, I was privileged to be part of the team at Borg & Overstrom, a UK manufacturer of the very best water dispensers in the world where I got my desire for quality and innovation.
Working with this incredible brand and my study of water and the effects on human health led me to my interest in health and wellbeing.
In 2017 I established Zyron Environmental. Our mission is to provide solutions/products which promote wellbeing with minimal or no harm to the planet.
When the Covid-19 pandemic came upon us, we were immediately faced with a challenge to find new ways to curb the spread of infection. My concern was seeing the massive increase in single-use masks, so we set to developing reusable mask.
This was the launch of Leisuremask which remains part of the Zyron group manufacturing the UK’s very best reusable face mask unlike any other on the market.
How did the name ‘Leisuremask’ originate?
Compulsory use of face masks was first announced in Belgium almost 2 months before the UK.
We first launched our product in Belgium under the brand Healthmask. The name remains Healthmask in our European markets to this day.
When we began marketing in the UK, certain laws prohibited us from using the word “Health” which made it almost impossible to market on any platforms.
After we were approached by sports and fitness brands for “custom branding”, we figured that “Leisure” was, in fact, a better term, as it suited this industry.
The word “health” can impose a “risk” element, therefore, increasing the already rising public anxiety over the pandemic.
A saying of old is “life is to be enjoyed, not endured”. We wanted our mask to encapsulate this saying, so we figured the name “Leisure” would be much more fitting. From that, Leisuremask was born, and we’ve never looked back.
What is the ‘easy-breathe’ fabric that the Leisuremask is made from?
Leisruemasks are made from 3-layer premium neoprene fabric. Unlike many of the masks on the market which are made from cotton.
The main reason or using neoprene is the breathability. Neoprene is known for its “wicking” properties. Wicking is when moisture is evaporated rather than absorbed. This means that the mask keeps itself-dry and hence remains very breathable.
On the contrary, cotton absorbs moisture. When cotton gets wet, the breathability reduced and in fact, us is almost impossible to breathe through soaked cotton.
How did you make sure that that the product gives a perfect fit for everyone?
We can’t say that our mask fits everyone; it took 100 attempts before we got the shape and sizes right.
To date, we do a size small and a size large. Small is for children and young teens, including smaller ladies, and size large is for regular adults. Sizing is available on our website should you want to check before purchasing. Neoprene does have a certain amount of stretch, which allows the mask to mould to the face comfortably.
What parts of the Leisuremask make it better than cotton masks for stopping disease transmission?
Our masks are made from neoprene coated with an anti-microbial agent. Neoprene is known for its “wicking” properties which ensure that moisture is evaporated quickly. This is most important when being spoken to or in close proximity to other people.
Air-Borne water particles which land on the mask will be quickly evaporated rather than absorbed. (This is where cotton masks are less effective as they absorb moisture very quickly.)
The anti-microbial agent used on Leisuremasks is effective for destroying pathogens. Any residual viruses or bacteria left on the surface would then be destroyed leaving your mask safe to use for long periods of time.
How many times can 1 Leisuremask be worn and can it be recycled?
Leisuremasks have been tested for over 300 hours of wear without any signs of damage. They are washable up to 100 times without losing their effectiveness or fading in colour Leisuremasks are 100% recyclable.
Is the Leisuremask manufactured locally in the UK?
As we are serving the UK and Europe, the Leisuremask factory is in the Netherlands where the fabric is produced, cut and sewn. The product sold in the UK is shipped in bulk and packaged in the UK.
How many sizes and colours does the Leisuremask come in?
Leisuremasks come in 2 sizes. Size small and size Large. We currently produce 15 colour variations
How can people access Leisuremasks
End-users can access leisuremasks are available on-line at www.leisuremask.uk.
We are geared for wholesale distribution with a daily capacity of 6000 masks.
Our masks are individually wrapped suitable for vending and for hanging on Euro-slot shelf hook.
Leisuremasks can be printed with any logo and the packaging can also be bespoke for larger orders of 5000 pieces or more.
Thank you Gary for your time!