Since the pandemic began, we began to receive enquiries from customers on what face masks we would recommend for cycling and whether we would be soon providing our own masks. Even before then, we had begun our research into sourcing and developing our own masks.
Most of our customers are in the UK and especially London, and we wanted to be able to fulfil local demand here.
Our research showed that most sellers of reusable face masks are missing laboratory tested and scientifically proven certifications in relation to important aspects like particle matter PM2.5 filtration rates, antibacterial properties and odour reduction properties.
We finally decided to partner with a Taiwanese company to supply the “Aropec” antibacterial face mask in the UK. Here is the story behind this mask.
Where is the mask made?
The mask is made in Taiwan, an island located off the east coast of China. It is a self-ruled democracy. Fans of cycling know Taiwan really well, it is the home of famous cycling brands such as Giant, Merida (which owns 50% of Specialized), and companies like SRAM, Factor, Kenda, FSA have their main factories here. It is really the engine of the cycling industry.
Most of the factories supporting the cycling industry is in Taichung, and this is where the Aropec mask is manufactured. The exact location of the factory is here. The factory specialises in products in the diving, surfing, swimming, water sports, triathlon and cycling industries. It has deep expertise in materials and fabrics and uses the latest machinery and equipment. It is certified to the ISO9001 Quality Management standard.
What materials is the face mask made from?
The mask is made of 3 layers.
1st Layer: Water repellent fabric with Polygiene “ViralOff” treatment. This is certified to kill 99% of viruses (like hepatitus, Influenza, Corona) and other bacteria
ViralOff treatment is a Swedish technology from the company Polygiene. Aropec is entitled to use the ViralOff mark as we have licensed the technology. Polygiene has tested the active ingredient against Influenza A, BirdFlu, Norovirus and Corona (SARS) over the years, and in all cases, have achieved 99% levels of reduction.
It is certified to the ISO18184:2019 standard, which involves a test that can be made for any specific product for effect in the two hours timespan, where it has to reduce the virus over 99%, to pass.
2nd Layer: Non-woven fabric with dust and particles filtration. Non-woven fabric is used in surgical masks and is proving to be more effective at capturing respiratory droplets than cloth based masks or PM2.5 masks.
3rd Layer: Soft, moisture-absorbing and breathable fabric treated with Silver Ion Polygiene. Again, the Polygiene treatment captures and breaks down unpleasant odours, and is certified antibacterial, meaning it can protect the user from bacteria and transmission of droplets.
Unlike other pollution masks, there is no need to purchase separate filters as the filter is sewn inside the mask for perfect seal. The mask lasts for 50 washes, approximately 4-5 months of regular use.
The Polygiene treatment is a another Swedish technology from the company Polygiene. Aropec uses the “Odor Crunch” technology and is entitled to use the mark below.
The Polygiene treated fabric is certified antibacterial by IMSL (Industrial Microbiological Serives Ltd), to the International Biodeterioration Research Group (IBRG) Tier 1 Textile Method, as shown below.
The Method determine the basic antibacterial properties of textiles and porous materials and articles treated with a biocide with the intension of introducing disinfectant / hygienic properties. Samples are inoculated with defined suspensions of microorganisms and then incubated. The changes in the size of the populations both over time and on treated compared with untreated materials are used to describe the basic antimicrobial properties of the materials. The results show that the treated material retain over 99% of its original qualities and therefore is certified antibacterial.
When will it be available?
The first shipment of the Aropec mask will arrive in the UK in the last week of May 2020, and we will send out orders by Royal Mail 1st Class.
Discounts by key workers
During these times of hardship, we want to give back as much as possible. All key workers will receive a 10% discount on the marked price. Please email email@example.com with your order requirements and provide evidence of key workers status, such as an NHS card, and we will be happy to apply the discount.