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Since the pandemic broke out in early 2020, the protective face mask manufacturers witnessed a dramatic rise in sales of respiratory masks. As per WHO reports, more than 50 countries have made it compulsory to wear masks in public places. Additionally, few airlines such as American, Lufthansa, and United have made it compulsory for passengers to wear masks at terminals and in flights, thereby promoting the masks manufacturing business.
The demand for respiratory masks, such as N90, N95, and N99 (equivalent to FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 masks in European standards) is higher than the fabric and surgical ones, as they protect against micro air borne infectious agents such as SARS, COVID, HIN1, and others. Thus, companies are putting perpetual efforts to design innovative and smart respiratory masks. For instance, gaming giant Razer launched a new smart mask under the name Project Hazel. The mask has active air ventilation and is as effective as the N95 mask and has RGB lights (red-blue-green LEDs), voice amplification technology, and an inbuilt UV sterilizer. The mask is designed in such a way that stops the problem of fogging.
Talking about the manufacturing capacity of these masks country-wise, China took the lead. According to a report published by The Guardians, China makes half of the world's total mask. In 2020, China’s protective face mask market share rose by 85%, and just in its first quarter of the year, its mask market was worth USD 75 billion. This is expected to rise at the growth rate of 50% in the next seven years.
Moreover, companies that once made cars, phones, shoes are now retooled to mask manufacturing. The ones who make masks are running at 100% more capacity than what they earlier used to manufacture. In these tough times, masks have emerged as savior to humankind as a primary defense to the virus, till getting the dose of vaccines stressed by the World Health Organization (WHO), thus its use is not going to stop any time soon.
Companies to Focus on Designing Sustainable Masks Amidst COVID-19
The pandemic crippled the global economy, it decimated almost all the businesses but create room for small businesses such as hand sanitizers and masks. High-end fashion brands such as Prada have entered the mask game, and celebrities such as Kim Kardashians introduced her mask line. However, apart from these high-end and designer mask manufacturers, small sustainable businesses are also flourishing.
For instance, an Indian brand, Tjori launched sustainable protective face masks from price value INR 99 to INR 349. As India is now dealing with a new crisis of handling this biomedical waste. The Centre for Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reported in January 2021, mentioned that India, generated 33,000 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last 7 months. Thus, to minimize the problem of biomedical wastes caused due to masks, companies are focusing on both the parts, safety along sustainability. Thus making masks using cloth samples from their existing designs.
Fortune Business Insights reports that the market for protective face masks is expected to reach USD 3,590.40 million by 2027 while exhibiting a CAGR of 7.1 % between 2020 and 2027.
Honeywell International Inc. is a multinational conglomerate, established in 1906. The company headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company operates in primarily four areas, i.e. aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and technologies, and safety and productivity solutions. Honeywell Safety and Productivity operate to improve workplace safety, productivity, and asset performance of customers worldwide. It mainly operates in the Asia Pacific region. In these difficult times, the company is extensively working on developing protective face masks to protect people. They have increased the production of N95 masks. In April 2021, the company partnered with a will.i.am to work on XUPERMASK. This mask is designed without compromising the style quotient. It is made of a silicone face seal and is held by an elastic strap for high performance and comfort. This multifaceted mask has dual 3-speed fans and HEPA filters to enhance breathability.
The 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, US health care, and consumer goods. The company was established in Minnesota America in 1902. It has its subsidiaries in Japan, India and others. As the virus spread surged, in January 2020, the company tripled its monthly production of N95 masks. It received two contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense, worth USD 200 million. This helped the company to escalate production by 39 million units annually.
Alpha Pro Tech aims to protect people, products and the environment. The company was established in 1989 and mainly manufactured face shields. However, it started manufacturing face masks in later years. Its face mask manufacturing unit is based in Salt Lake City, UT. As the virus broke, the company increased the production of N-95 masks in early 2020.
Superior Glove is North America’s leading manufacturer and supplier of gloves. The company was established in 1910. They manufacture gloves that require industrial work. The company is licensed for producing cut-resistant gloves. A few of their high-quality work gloves are Kevlar and Dyneema. In April 2020, the company reconstructed manufacturing units to come up with personal protective gear, fabricate face shields, hand sanitizers, and collaborated with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to manufacture cotton face masks.
DuPont is one of the world's largest producers of chemicals and science-based products. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. The company was founded in 1897 and lists 35 positions on the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States public corporations. The company’s 2006 discovery of Hybrid Membrane Technology was integrated with Cummins filtration material. These two companies collaborated and increased the production of N-95 protective face masks.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an American multinational personal care company. It manufactures mostly paper-based consumer products, sanitary paper products and surgical & medical instruments. The company was established in 1872 in Wisconsin. It has manufacturing facilities in 41 countries and product sales in more than 150 countries. In February 2020, the company increased the production of face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products. It followed Center for Disease Control guidelines and accordingly worked on manufacturing of masks and PPE kits.
The Medicom Group world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of safety materials were established in 1988 in Canada. It manufactures gloves, masks, and other protective materials for medical, industrial, veterinary, laboratory, and beauty markets. The company initially produced masks for medical purposes. However due to the pandemic, In March 2021, it launched Medicom Expressions. This face mask will be used for nonmedical purposes and it will be available for consumers in the U.S. and Canada using online platforms Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
At Eclipse, we like to bring our capabilities close to our clients. Our facilities are located in direct proximity to Fortune 500 companies and manufacturing centers across North America and in Central Europe. This allows us to efficiently work with centralized purchasing departments, have access to supply-chain partners and provide excellent customer service.
At Breathe Easy, we research, test and design innovative solutions to India’s biggest air quality problems. We’re an ethical company with your best interests in mind. Our goal is to improve your comfort, health, and quality of life, not our bottom line. In December 2020, Breathe Easy Labs launched Karbon protective face masks with three-layered protection. This mask has been designed using material sourced from the US and Europe, and is made from biotechnology-based patented fabric. This fabric provides safety against airborne pathogens and viruses.
Huhtamäki Oyj is a food packaging industry headquartered in Espoo, Finland. It was established in 1920. Their packaging materials include plastic and paper disposable. They provide their products to restaurants, coffee and other vending operators. However, during the pandemic, the company retooled to mask manufacturing. In June 2020, the company launched high-quality face masks named Huhta Masks. These masks are washable and are made of high-quality fabric.
Written By Aradhana Pandey