Did you ever imagine that face masks could become a fashion accessory?
Businesses across West End have been hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and there are some amazing stories of resilience as they adapt or re-purpose. Many will have heard for example of the work distillers such as local Brisbane Distillery are doing to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Another local business, Scody Australia, producer of triathlon and cycling apparel, is now turning its machinery to making face masks.
Scody has been operating in Brisbane for over 20 years and is a sponsor of big-name cycling events such as Cycling Queensland, Tour de Brisbane and Brisbane Cycling Fest.
With these sporting events cancelled or postponed, the Scody factory on Montague Road in West End has lost a lot of corporate business, and they needed to find a way to keep their 17 employees engaged.
Scody owner, Bernard Schreiber, said that the factory has an online retail arm and is still selling individual cycle-wear, but that only accounts for about half of their business, so they needed to find new ways to keep going.
“We were looking at what we could do to use our equipment, and we made some masks for staff, and then we started fiddling with them, making them better, and making them look better.”
Bernard stresses that their masks are not surgical masks, and are not designed for medical or health settings, but he said they are designed to use when exercising to offer some protection to the people around you. He said that the masks may also assist wearers to remember not to touch their faces.
The Scody masks are washable and consist of two layers of fabric which allow a filter to be inserted between the layers.
Bernard says they are comfortable to wear even when exercising. And they look pretty groovy too, with cycles, scooters and cat and dog designs in the mix.
Scody launched the masks on 23 April and they are already attracting attention.
Scody can also manufacture bulk orders of 20 or more masks with customised company branding, and they have had orders from companies already.
The masks are made to order within five days. People can order their masks online or phone in their order and have them delivered or they can pick them up at the Montague Road site.
See the launch details HERE
For advice on the wearing of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic please refer to official sources such as https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-avoid-infection-faqs#mask