As consumer demand for face masks continues to mount due to the pandemic, Uniqlo has become the latest brand to offer coverings of its own.
Part of Uniqlo’s “Lifewear” line, the Airism Mask has a bacterial filtration efficiency of 99%, which the brand says is retained even after 20 washes. The style features a patent-pending three-layer structure — with a mesh material on the outside, a high-performance filter in the middle and Airrhythm tech on the inside — that’s designed to maximize performance and comfort.
The mesh material on the outside has a UV protection function and cuts out 90% of ultraviolet rays, while the high-performance filter in the middle will cut and block particles with bacteria and viruses attached as well as pollen. The interior is made of a non-woven cotton that wicks sweat, keeping the wearer feeling cool and dry even in the heat of summer.
Offered in small, medium and large sizing, the face masks can be machine washed. For best results, Uniqlo says to use a laundry net and to avoid bleach and the dryer.
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This week, the brand will begin to sell masks in its home country of Japan. Priced at 990 Japanese yen (about $9) for a three-pack, the masks can be purchased on Uniqlo’s Japanese website beginning on Friday. For now, shoppers will be limited to a maximum of three packs each, or one in each size.
While the masks are only available to shop in Japan for now, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing says it has plans to expand overseas soon. In addition, the company says it plans to produce 500,000 mask packs a week, in small, medium and large sizes.
Uniqlo joins a number of fashion brands that have begun offering masks in recent weeks, among them Alice + Olivia, Sanctuary and Rag & Bone — and with good reason. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals wear face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, regardless of whether they are feeling sick or healthy.
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