The collateral damage in the fight against the spread of COVD-19 has been significant. But efforts to flatten the curve are creating a particularly specific problem: medical waste, specifically coming from one-time use face masks. In Wuhan, China alone, one report indicated hospitals were generating 270 tons of medical waste daily during the peak of the outbreak. With the virus now gone global and the CDC’s recommendation that everyone wear a mask, the amount of waste is only going to increase.
This has led to a cottage industry of handmade, reusable masks, many of which you have no doubt seen making their way across your social media timelines. The homemade mask thing is like this moment’s victory garden (although these are coming back, too). Bands are turning merch into masks. Curated outdoor brands are getting into the game. We even gave you a handy little guide on how to transform all that coffee swag you’ve accrued over the years into a CDC-approved facial cover. You will remember homemade masks forever.
But for those looking for something a little more stylish while staying on brand—assuming that brand is coffee—then the folks at ShoeX have just the solution for you: a reusable face mask made from coffee.
Called the AirX, the new face mask from the Vietnam via Canada-based company is touted as “the world’s first ever coffee mask” and is reusable, 100% vegan, biodegradable, and antimicrobial. It has obtained AATCC 100 certification, “the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial fabric performance in the United States.” Per Yahoo Finance, the coffee component of the mask comes in two forms: the coffee yarn using “Powerknit technology” that comprised the mask itself as well as the biodegradable air filter insert, made with “silver nanotechnology and coffee” and meant to withstand 30 days’ use.