The world is constantly changing but not until recently have I fully appreciated the wide spectrum of the word ‘change’. As with everyone, coronavirus has swept through my life uprooting any certainties and replacing them with fear, frustration and buzz words such as ‘unprecedented.’ Having welcomed my son into the world just two weeks before Amsterdam went into official lockdown, I was both burdened by additional worries for my young child and blessed beyond measure.
Like many, my family immediately heeded governmental advice to wear masks if making unavoidable contact with people outside of our home. I soon realised that the ill-fitting, disposable items we were wearing may not be offering sufficient protection and contributing to ‘mask pollution’, which is sure to become an immeasurable problem the longer the virus remains a threat. As the founder of a sustainable lifestyle brand and a mother of two, I feel I now have a further role - seeing how I can contribute to more safety and certainty, while protecting our planet. Project Horizon is how I intend to do this.
Many countries have made it compulsory to wear masks in public places, however the options that we currently have are mostly unsustainable due to the use of single use masks or masks which don't offer maximum protection. Sadly, with this virus will come an influx of disposable masks piling up in landfills and contributing to an already desperate pollution problem. The scale of this ‘mask pollution’ issue is terrifying if we consider the amount of masks needed.
Project Horizon looks towards a future that will largely be determined by how we react to our new circumstances. However, this future looks, life will be different from how it is now, and we want to help make the transition as easy as possible for anyone we can help. Much research, conversations with experts and consulting scientific papers to confirm my findings has led to the creation of Project Horizon Masks.
Project Horizon’s breathable, three-layered face masks are all-natural, made from hemp and organic cotton, which are comfortable against the skin, washable, reusable and 100% biodegradable. They are scientifically proven to be 98% protective against the spread of the virus due to their double inner layer fabric filter - a premium cotton with a high thread count. It safeguards from particles of 300 nanometers in size, with COVID-19 presenting primarily as air borne droplets of 5000 nanometers.
With our high-quality masks, we aim to limit the amount of masks that will be discarded once worn and making the mask 100% bio-degradable it will be easy to dispose the mask safely at the end of it's lifecycle - unlike with masks that have elastics bands. Expertly crafted and reusable, they provide a safe and sustainable solution, in keeping with Fifth Origins’ environmentally-friendly ethos.
Support for artisans
As with any global challenge, economic disparities are once again making themselves abundantly clear, amongst consumers and makers. This is why we have chosen to continue to work with rural artisans from India whose futures are more uncertain than most. Crafting these products for us gives them access to the much-needed protection of a mask as well as safeguarding their livelihoods beyond this difficult period.
Our personal pledge
For every mask purchased, Fifth Origins will give away a free mask to a member of the vulnerable community. This will include migrants, artisans, the homeless and those who are less fortunate, for various reasons. We believe that health and safety is a human right that should be available to everyone.
As Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF said " The best memorial we can build for those who lost their lives in the pandemic is a greener, smarter and fairer world." We are so proud to be part of facing the future head-on, maintaining our ethics as we do so.