Urbanites have been wearing air pollution masks as a necessity to cope with the increasing levels of polluted air in cities. As masks are becoming more common, from China to cyclists in London, they are evolving from purely functional to something more.
San Francisco-based O2TODAY has released what they are calling “the world’s most breathable urban air mask.” The masks, made from sustainable materials, combine the functionality of an air filter with a fashionable design. Well-known Dutch designer Marcel Wanders created six different designs, turning the masks into a full-fledged part of someone’s wardrobe.
The masks are made from all-natural materials, including merino wool from New Zealand. Good breathability was a top priority for the designers, as most of the currently available masks proved to be uncomfortable to wear. Nevertheless, the filter is able to filter 95% of air pollutants. Using sustainable materials, the idea of the mask is that it doesn’t contribute to the pollution it protects its users from.
This last notion is interesting as it points out that, while air pollution is the reality of today in many urban areas of the world, the designer mask concept seems accepting to that reality. The goal of cleaner urban air should remain a top priority, but still it doesn’t hurt to be a little fashionable along the way.