In this week’s edition of ‘8Shades Of’, we turn our attention to one of the most pressing matters of our time – the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its most wasteful by-product: single-use disposable masks.
From the early days of securing industrial N95 masks to being able to buy surgical masks in every colour, print and pattern under the sun, it’s mind-blowing how many masks humans are going through on a daily basis.
One easy solution? Switching to reusable fabric masks. Now before you object with assumptions that they “aren’t as protective,” it’s all about finding the right fabric mask for you in terms of fit, breathability, filtration and comfort.
Experts recommend cloth masks with three layers – one as an outer barrier, the middle layer for filtration, and the inner layer for comfort. Opt for tightly-woven fabrics like cotton and make sure there are no gaps where viral particles can slip in.
One of our favourite reusable masks brands is Green Sisters Creation – a Hong Kong-based company that produces triple-layered masks with an outer, water-repellent shell, middle layer with 99% BFE (Bacterial filtration efficiency), 97% PFE (particle filtration efficiency) and 96% VFE (virus filtration efficiency), plus an anti-viral and anti-bacterial inner layer made with a translucent thin Japanese medi fabric that floats above the skin.
We spoke to Katheryn Pang, founder of Green Sisters Creation, to find out more about why she’s passionate about sustainability and her best (and worst) eco habits:
1. In one sentence, tell us what you do?
Green Sisters Creation makes high quality ASTM Level 3 stylish reusable masks that can be washed up to 100 times.
2. Why are you an 8Shader?
We are 8Shaders because we care about nature, animal habitats and Earth’s depleting resources. I first encountered the term ‘sustainability’ about 25 years ago when I was still in school in Canada where they recycle almost everything. I was impressed with how they could turn waste into useful materials, and how people were happy to do what was needed to save the environment.
3. Your best eco habit?
I do a little here and there, but because of the pandemic and masks being a necessity, I have to say that I’m most proud of using a reusable mask for 18 months now, which means I’ve saved 540 disposable masks from going into landfill.
4. Guilty not-so-green habit?
I love beef. I know the carbon footprint it brings; I’ve cut down a lot, but I still have a long way to go to becoming vegetarian.
5. Fave eco product?
Green Sisters masks, of course! They’re sustainable as they’re made from recycled materials, comfortable and can be used up to 100 times.
6. Fave veggie dish in HK?
Miss Lee‘s Golden Cauliflower.
7. Why should people switch to fabric masks?
Disposable single masks are hazardous and pose a threat to the environment and wildlife. Our beaches are strewn with abandoned disposable masks, and many dead sea animals are found to have ingested them.
In addition to plastic pollution, these masks are health hazards. They potentially carry and transmit viruses to others, who may come in contact with them. Cleaners are forced to pick up contaminated masks daily.
Everyone should switch to reusable masks to save then environment, reduce waste, stop endangering wildlife and promote sustainability.
8. What shade of green are you and why?
I am an olive green like the colour of my mask. I’m probably 70% of the way because I sometimes still use plastic bags, and I still eat seafood and beef. Cutting yourself some slack is fine, once in a while, as long as you’re doing the best you can and what suits your lifestyle. There is no need to judge.
Visit Green Sisters Creation to learn more and pick up a few reusable masks today!
See also: 8Shades of… Eugenia Chow aka. @eugreenia