The Wisecrack

News for nerds

With masks now mandatory in some public spaces in the UK, such as hospitals and on public transport, it’s high time to invest in a durable product that will last you throughout the pandemic.

If you don’t fancy making your own from a sock or a T-shirt, there’s a new eco-friendly option on the market: masks made from discarded fish nets.

The Thyra mask, as its known, was invented by Solveig Starovic, a mum based in Dorset, and is made from regenerated eco nylon – sourced from recycled plastics found in landfills and oceans, such as fish nets.

Thyra’s hyper-resistant and stretchable material also features a two-way filter of melt-blown, non-woven polypropylene that, according to the brand, blocks over 95% of particles of at least 0.3 microns in size.

It’s also very stretchy, made to fit as many face shapes as possible.

What’s more, the product is also machine-washable so you can keep it clean and it can be ironed on low heat.

Solveig created the prototype for Thyra at her kitchen table; it was inspired by her love of cycling and the environment, with the mask adapted from an original sports mask that she has also designed.

‘I’m a keen cyclist but air pollution really concerns me, so I initially started looking into a mask design that could be worn with a focus on maximum protection through very high filtration, while maintaining comfort and breathability,’ Solveig said.

‘ I did a lot of research into different materials.

‘My life has always been very connected to the sea but the amount of plastic in our oceans is shocking and I’m a firm believer that the future is only possible with sustainability, so when I discovered an eco-nylon that uses regenerated plastics including discarded fishing nets, it ticked every box in terms of its quality, performance and eco benefits.’

The mask, which costs £19.99, comes in two colours: latte and mocha, and each order includes one high-purity filter.

Replacement filter packs of three will cost an additional £11.99.

Part of the profits from each mask sold will also be donated to the NHS.