When the AIRism face mask dropped in mid-June in Japan, the retailer experienced winding lines of patrons queuing up to buy it. In fact, the launch was so anticipated that Uniqlo’s website crashed due to the high demand. The hype surrounding it was like that of a Yeezy sneaker launch or a chance to score tickets to Hamilton in 2017.
And now, the mask is available in the U.S.
The AIRism mask is more than your typical cotton face covering. Uniqlo has put a considerable amount of informed design into it to make it more effective and comfortable.
The mask is triple layered (which is still the recommended design for the best protection). A mesh outer layer provides UPF protection, blocking up to 90% of ultraviolet rays. The inner fabric is Uniqlo’s proprietary AIRism material, which wicks away moisture, releases heat, and absorbs sweat while maintaining a smooth feel. Oh, and most impressively, the AIRism mesh is antimicrobial and self-deodorizing. And finally, a high-performance filter layer is enclosed in the middle.
Because the brand created the AIRism as a reusable mask for daily wear (to minimize environmental impact of disposable masks), the item is machine washable. To make sure the mask filter maintains its effectiveness, Uniqlo worked with a testing institution to ensure it can withstand multiple wears and washes. Testing concluded that when washed with regular household detergent, the filter of the mask retains its efficacy for 20 washes at up t0 104 degrees.
The AIRism mask comes in three different sizes and in black, white, and gray. People who have already gotten their hands on the mask report that the small size is quite small—perfect for children. The medium and large sizes are adult-approved. Each $15 pack comes with three masks.
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