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Easy Mask: fashionable mask, sustainable mindset

Sustainable industry collaboration between Indorama Ventures, DyeCoo and Karl Mayer Group company Stoll.

25th May 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Reutlingen, Germany

Protective, Clothing/​Footwear

As we enter the second year of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic there is a continuing need for masks.  While face masks help greatly in mitigating the spread of the virus and protecting the wearer, they also contribute to environmental problems such as waste and pollution.

EASY MASK is a collaborative initiative between Indorama Ventures, DyeCoo and flat knitting machine manufacturer Stoll, to produce a fashionable mask with a sustainable mind-set throughout the whole production process - starting from the yarn production and followed by the dyeing, design and production. With the advanced technologies of the three companies, the mask does not just eliminate waste, but also reduces the use of water and energy. The design approach ensures that all components can be easily removed and re-used for other masks.

Deja recycled polyester

Deja is a sustainable recycled polyester brand from Indorama Ventures. The polyester performance yarn is made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET bottles and can be used for a multitude of home and apparel applications. The yarn is independently certified and traceable, with full transparency across raw material and processes including GRS, Ecomark, RCS, Oeko-Tex 100 and Reach.

© Deja/ Indorama Ventures

Locally sourced 100% post-consumer rPET products offer a low-carbon footprint and closed loop solution. Deja is 100% recyclable at the end of use and can be repeatedly re-processed without harmful emissions or discharges to create new high value-added products.

CO2 Dyeing

The Deja recycled yarn is later dyed with the innovative supercritical Carbon Dioxide textile dyeing technology by the Dutch company DyeCoo at the CleanDye factory. The sc-CO2 dyeing machines can dye yarns or fabric rolls in a closed-loop process without using water and process chemicals, thereby producing no wastewater. By using only, the pure non-toxic Corangar dyestuff made by Colourtex, in combination with sc-CO2 that 95% reclaimed in the machine, textile dyeing has less of an environmental impact compared to traditional dyeing technologies. As Carbon Dioxide has the same quality every day and over the whole world the technology is reliable and reproducible.

© DyeCoo

Design and production

The sustainable product advantages achieved through the use of Deja recycled polyester and CO2 dyeing technology are further enhanced with the design and production method.

EASY MASK is a fresh approach to reinterpret a traditional medical facemask from a design perspective. It is a 3D knitted and playful kinetic object that expands and collapses easily. It is simple to use and comfortable to wear; be it over the face or around the neck. The design approach allows customization, on-demand production, and reduces production waste to below 1%. Integrated ventilation increases breathability. Whilst it does not protect the wearer from infection it limits the spread of viruses.

Both the production method, as well as the design itself, take environmental and sustainable aspects into account. The seamless production method eliminates cut and sew and reduces waste material whilst offering customized on-demand production to lessen product surplus. Washing at 60°C makes repetitive use possible. All mask components (metal bar, knitted strings and adjustment tube) can be easily removed and re-used for other masks.

© Stoll by Karl Mayer

The mask is knitted on a Stoll CMS 530 HP B E 7.2 flat knitting machine, but can also be knitted on other types of Stoll machines. This allows for flexible local production independent of the machine park.

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