Supima Masks

Sustainable Saudi Arabian fashion brand Sita said it shifted its production and design priorities to join the fight against COVID-19 — and its raising funds to produce 1,200 masks for distribution to New York hospitals in need, the company said.

Sita’s masks will be made of its durable and stretchy Sitatech nanofabric, a reusable material made out of nanofibers that are tightly spun together and can protect again viruses, bacteria, smog, dust, allergies and other particles. Its fabric has a mechanical filtration efficiency of about 99 percent and is the same fabric used in N95 mask filters, the brand explained. And in fact, the entire mask can work as a filter, is machine washable, and super protective due to its moisture-wicking abilities that will repel droplets, coughs and sneezes from the material.

So far, Sita has donated its fabric to HumanB, its production partner, but the company aims to raise $5,000 to begin manufacturing the masks.

Cofounder Aljohara Almodaimigh told WWD, “Our Sitatech fabrics are made of nanofibers with a mechanical filtration system that is superior to any other fabric. The structure of the yarn is a dense nanofiber web that lets only oxygen particles through and filters anything larger than 0.3nm such as bacteria, virus, pollen and dust mites. Our clothes are made in New York and doing our part to support our community during this time was a no brainer for us.”

Gianfranco Zani, a cofounder, said, “While Sita is donating our exclusive Sitatech fabric and HumanB is managing the production, all donations we receive go to support the factories and their employees.”

Nonprofit organization Supima sent out a plea to its Supima Design Competition alumni last week, asking for help to create masks with the firm’s supplied fabrics. Moved by the immediate response, 35 designers signed on to the task, alongside Sew4Lives and Operation COVID-19 Garment Revival — and the fabric Supima supplied will make approximately 13,000 to 14,000 masks, all of which will be donated to New York City hospitals and local groups in need.

Buxton Midyette, vice president, marketing and promotions, Supima, told WWD, “As soon as we recognized the increasing medical need for personal protective equipment, we knew we needed to take action. We had the fabric and a strong network of alumni from the Supima Design Competition, who were so eager to partake. We’re incredibly grateful to our SDC designers as well as new partners like Sew4Lives and project COVID-19 garment revival plus so many volunteers who have joined from IG. Their individual efforts collectively have added up to a mighty one.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Outdoor Brands Talk Coronavirus Impacts, Offer Wellness Advice

Brick-and-Mortar, Digital Retailers Adjust Strategies in Wake of Coronavirus

Field Notes: How Fabric Is Helping Save the Planet

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