Wanna be a city ninja, cruising through the streets of the city? The latest face mask Airinum will be your best friend!
As compared with the past, the people nowadays have a better habit of wearing face masks. May it be for isolating selves from viruses in the air, or due to the bad air conditions, a face mask is inevitably one of the necessities for us living in the urban city. Recently in Taiwan, there has been many factors that caused the air pollution to grow serious, causing people to wear masks more and more often. However, with the plethora of face masks in the market, just finding one that we like and think its suitable is not easy, much more to test out if it really does filter out the dirt and pollutants in the air.
When buying face masks, do you weigh both the looks of it and the functionality? Fact is other than the mask looking fashionable and not like a serial killer, the main functions that the mask should serve is essential as well. A very well-known Swedish brand in Asia, Airinum has overthrown the image of the old-fashioned face masks. In 2015, the founder of Airinum has discovered the perfect mask on the balance of looks and functionality , creating one of the most hot selling face mask that the public loves. Today, we have the opportunity to speak to Alexander to understand what are the elements that has led Airinum to its current success.
► Why did you choose to innovate face masks and not other products?
Alexander : Back in 2015 when I was studying my MBA in India, it made me think a lot. I have never seriously considered what I thought “ air “ to be like, but when for the first time in my life I fell sick due to bad air quality, I started to research in this category, knowing the importance of air quality. Therefore, I started to look for face masks, may it be those for medical use or for construction use but I found that their functions were actually very limited. Either wearing it makes you even more uncomfortable or even the fact that it looks hideous. These led me to start looking into how to innovate and create the perfect face mask.
► During research and development, what were the difficulties that you faced?
Alexander : I think the biggest challenge was trying to create a correct shape as everyone of us has a different face. A good mask needs to be able to perfectly cover the face to prevent air from running out, so, we invited H&M, ACNE, Haglof and other designers of brands to help us brainstorm for ideas on the outlook of the mask, that doesn’t use unrecyclable materials. This was a very tough challenge and we had to test on many people. At the beginning, the masks that we made was successful and suitable for our own usage, but when people from different areas of Asia started trying them on, we realised that it was not as good as we thought, hence, we spent more time on research and development to create a better one.
After receiving instructions from Alexander on ways to try the mask, I felt like I had experienced something different. It was comfortable, I could breathe as usual and it did block out pollutants.
► Airinum face masks are more expensive as it has the best of both worlds, how do you manage to persuade first time customers to purchase Airinum?
Alexander : I think that the most important thing to note is that a polluted air environment does not just affect our health but also our moods and feelings. Once you have experienced both good and bad air quality, you will probably want to buy products that will let you continuously enjoy clean and good air. Our masks are priced highly because we had a high cost of research and development as well as the materials that the masks are made of. If the customer is someone who really cares about the outlook and functionality of a face mask, the customer would definitely choose Airinum products.
► The fact that we are able to change the filer of the face mask is one of the specialties of Airinum masks, what are the suggestions or tips that you would give on maintaining the mask?
Alexander : Basically, the filter changing period depends on how you use it and the air quality, it could range from 2 times in a month to a weekly change. The main, basic functions of the mask can still work as usual but of course, after wearing the mask for a long period, the pollutants may cause a blockage. This is when you can change the filter to breathe freely again. If you want me to suggest, I would say changing it 1-4 times per month would be optimum.
► What are the first elements that you considered when designing Airinum masks?
Alexander : I think the key thing is to get a balance between practicality and outlook. A lot of face masks on the market are made for looks, forgoing all the functions a face mask ought to have. To us, it is vital to get a balance of the 2 to create the best face mask. We did extensive surveys and found out that many would refuse to wear face masks that do not look good, but it is also a well-known fact that those face masks that work well do not look stylish. This is why we work hard to achieve the best of both practicality and looks.
► Airinum’s masks come in a variety of colours and designs, do you interchange them daily?
Alexander: This is like having lots of sunglasses, lots of caps. Face masks is the same, if I am wearing black today, I would match it with a black face mask.
Due to living environments and other factors, face masks have a large market in Asia. Airinum first used Korea’s ideology of the best mask outlook and the acceptance rate before expanding into Japan, China and so on. They made a huge success and now are in Taiwan too. Airinum started from being online to having customers all around the globe, across 60 more countries. It is their forward designs that naturally attracted many stars and artists to wear it. Alexander also told us that they are negotiating with DJ Alan Walker, in hopes of getting him to be a ambassador.