Phone? Check. Keys? Check. Mask...? These days a mask is as indispensable an item as anything – you just can’t leave the house without it. And whilst you can match your outfit to your mask with numerous fashionable pieces, sometimes it's worth going back to basics, with a high-performance (but also high fashion) mask. Where better to look that Japan’s home of high street innovation, Uniqlo, which is finally bringing its super popular AIRism masks to the UK.
As functional as they are fashionable, these unisex masks use innovative techniques to optimise performance every single day. Light and thin, but super soft and just as protective, the masks have proved wildly popular in Japan since they went on sale in June, and subsequently in Australia, Indonesia, and the U.S. Of course, it helps that customers are leaning towards the reusable market, given the environmental impact of disposable masks.
In true Uniqlo form, the mask’s fabric does more than look chic AF. The AIRism Mask uses a triple-layer structure; AIRism mesh fabric sandwiches an anti-microbial and self-deodorising filter layer that delivers a bacterial filtration efficiency of 99%, blocking droplets and offering protection from bacteria and pollen. The machine-washable mask continues to wick away moisture, release heat and absorb sweat while maintaining a smooth feel all day, wash after wash.
The AIRism masks will be available in stores and online from October 5 as part of the LifeWear Collection, the brand’s philosophy to ensure its clothing “improves everyday life for everyone”. To coincide with the launch, Uniqlo UK will donate 4,000 of the masks to the Tate Modern. This follows the donation that its parent company, Fast Retailing, made to frontline medical staff in 26 countries at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AIRism masks, one pack of three masks, £9.90, uniqlo.com