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Uniqlo, Asics Meet Consumer Demand With Innovative New Face Masks

Fashion companies continue to innovate in the face mask market to meet demand for more protective and comfortable products as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Global apparel retailer Uniqlo on Monday is launching Airism Face Masks at all retail stores in the United States, as well as on The Airism face masks come in a newly designed triple layer structure that enhances performance and efficacy, Uniqlo said.

The brand’s innovative Airism mesh fabric encloses a filter at the center of the mask. Airism aims to keep wearers dry as it wicks away moisture, releases heat and absorbs sweat, while maintaining a smooth feel all day. In addition, the triple-layer structure has a UPF 40 rating, blocking 90 percent of ultraviolet rays.

The company said it created a reusable mask as daily wear, to minimize consumers’ environmental impact. The Airism Mask is machine washable with regular household detergent. A testing institution proved that the filter inside the triple layer structure retains its efficacy after 20 washes at 40 degrees Celsius.

The triple-layer mesh structure also keeps the mask light and thin, optimizing breathability. Airism fabric is also anti-microbial and self-deodorizing.

Uniqlo noted that face masks are a simple and effective means of staying healthy in these challenging times. In East Asia, people commonly wear masks when ill, to protect themselves from air pollution, or to make a fashion statement. Uniqlo, based in Japan, said it drew on this widespread practice and increasing consumer demand to develop a mask that would optimize protection and comfort in daily use.

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A three-pack of Uniqlo Airism Face Masks retails for $14.90 and be available in white, black and gray, in small, medium and large sizes. The masks are not meant to worn by children under the age of 2.

Meanwhile, Asics recently introduced the Asics Runners Face Cover, designed specifically for runners by scientists, engineers and designers at the Asics Institute of Sport Science (ISS).

The mask pairs cutting-edge design with innovative air vents that give runners the room to breathe comfortably, while preventing the spread of droplets. The mask’s antibacterial quick-drying material helps cool the air that reaches its interior, even allowing runners to drink water while running.

“We know how important it is for runners to protect themselves and others when running, but also that many find masks uncomfortable and restrictive,” Kenichi Harano, executive officer and senior general manager at the ISS, said. “So, we created the Asics Runners Face Cover uniquely designed for runners with cutting-edge technology and an innovative design that gives runners room to breathe comfortably while performing at their physical peak.”

The new Asics Runners Face Cover will be available from mid-September at a retail price of 35 pounds ($45.76).