How face masks will change the hospitality and wellness industry
Fashionizer Wellness Face Masks
Fashionizer diverts productions to create washable fabric face masks
There is no doubt that this pandemic has forever changed the world, and this is especially true for all of us working in the hospitality and spa industry. Although we all believe the hotel and wellness industry will be in high demand once this is all over, we are also aware that there will be quite a few challenges to overcome before businesses can get back to some semblance of normality. In the past few weeks, we have been listening attentively to Zoom calls and conversations within the global wellness community and focusing on what this new “normal” might mean for hotels and spas, and especially what new protocols will be introduced upon reopening. All members in the industry believe that spas will be the first to reopen, with hotels following at a later stage, and that there will be major changes to the guest experience – which will involve collating all data online before a visit, as well as wearing protective face masks. Fashionizer normally supplies luxurious uniforms to five-star hotels and spas around the world, however, with the world of hospitality on shutdown, the team at Fashionizer have been focusing on looking forward. Until a vaccine is found, our clients will need to find a way to operate and still offer safe services for their communities. This will require a great deal of flexibility, creativity, and invention.
We believe that new hygiene standards as well as wearing face masks will be a key part of this new experience, to ensure both guests and staff feel safe. We have been very busy in the past month, researching the virus, what protection various fabrics and fabric treatments can offer, and developing mask prototypes. We have found that our expertise in fabric development, extensive materials library, and our commitment to sustainability have all contributed greatly to our ability to find solutions to this very complex problem. Due to the shortages of PPE and medical face masks for the NHS and healthcare workers, Fashionizer has been working on solutions that could be used in spa and hotel environments, which will offer protection, but are not full PPE standard.
We believe that with ongoing shortages, PPE should be preserved for medical personnel only. Cloth masks are however, better than no protection at all, according to testing by the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health Inc. Their main purpose being to not infect others, and to prevent the touching of noses and mouths, which is a critical method of virus transmission. Our face masks also look less medical and foreboding. We have put together some of the research we have found regarding fabric face masks and mask wearing protocols, which you can read on our website. The face masks we have developed consist of three layers of fabric, the top layer is either 100% cotton, or our organic CPF, (Cotton Performance Fabric), an exclusive fabric normally used to keep therapists cool and fresh in warm spa environments. The middle layer is a non-woven layer of interlining for filtration, and the lining is a soft cotton polyester fabric, which is soft against the face. A lightweight metal wire along the top centre of the mask ensures a good and shaped fit around the nose.
We have tested the durability of our masks – they are guaranteed to last a minimum of 20 washes, although we anticipate that they will last a lot longer. We have sent our initial masks for filtration testing, to be able to give our customers some idea of a comparison to medical masks, which we will be publishing the results on our website as soon as we have them. All of this has been a complicated process, because like hotels and spas, some of our staff are on furlough, many fabric mills are closed, and testing must be done in specialist labs – that are all overwhelmed at present with work. We are now working on stage two of our product development:We are testing various material options to find a good balance between breathability and penetration, so these masks can be as comfortable and protective as possible.
We are working on protocols for how best to wear face masks, and how to make the experience positive and not foreboding. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss what protocols are planning on putting in place for reopening.
Based on the protocols, we will also publish a cost analysis in comparison with disposable masks, as we believe that we should not forget about sustainability, even at a time like this. Other products in the pipeline: wash bags for masks, so they can be stored safely during the day before being washed. Customer masks in spas with aromatherapy filter options, as well as masks with unique and interesting prints that can be given or sold to guests.
Attractive uniforms made from fabric that provide some viral protection. Our fabric face masks are available to buy retail via our online shop in a selection of styles, designs and sizes. For orders above 100 masks, or if you are interested in creating bespoke masks for your hotel or spa, please send us an email to [email protected].
Like many suppliers whose business models are embedded on the hotel and spa industry, we wish to be part of the conversation as we emerge from the lockdown, to ensure businesses have the best chance to rebuild and start trading again. The Fashionizer team wishes you good health, to stay safe, and keep positive! For more information:Email: [email protected] Phone: +44 (0)208 995 0088