DOST-PTRI REwear™ Face Mask: A Face of Filipino Bayanihan
The DOST – Philippine Textile Research Institute teamed up with private companies, namely, Power Fashion Foundation/NE Noveau Star, Saffron Philippines Incorporated, Reliance Producers Coop, D&L Industries and Chemrez Technologies, Inc., to produce 500,000 pieces of reusable, washable, and re-wearable face masks as a quick response to the ongoing situation brought by COVID-19 pandemic. Branded as REwear, Face Mask Made Smart, the project was further strengthened when factories responded to a call for fabric donations and sent their fabrics to be used for the REwear masks.
If worn properly, a face mask can help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain viruses and microbes and potential contaminants in the immediate environment from reaching a wearer’s mouth and nose.
The REwear mask is a two-piece, four-layer mask. It is fully detachable with the outer piece made of water-repellent fabric, and the inner piece of absorbent fabric. Through the water-repellent textile finishing technology developed by the Institute, the fabric is rendered impermeable to liquid. When used, liquid droplets will slide down the REwear mask thereby protecting the wearer. It is breathable and designed for close fit to ensure comfort and protection. More importantly, if washed following the wash instructions provided, it is reusable up to 50 times. This makes one REwear mask as equivalent to 50 disposable masks thus, the 500,000 pieces to be produced means 25 million reduction in the need for masks.
The first batch of the face masks were already distributed to front-liners and back support staff of government agencies. This initiative spearheaded by the DOST-PTRI with active support of the private sector embodies the “Bayanihan” spirit of the Filipino, cornerstone of the We Heal As One Act as we all work together to rise above, and defeat COVID-19. DOST-PTRI also published A FACE Mask Resource Kit and Tech Pack which are posted on the website, to provide information and fully support everyone who would want to produce, not just a cloth mask but the right cloth face mask.