In recent weeks, mandatory use of face masks has become part of everyday Swiss life, at least on public transport. With immediate effect, the first fabric mask with the official “TESTEX Community.
Mask” test label is available from the two Swiss textile firms, Schoeller Textil AG and Forster Rohner AG. Since May, the companies have been able to offer their masks with official EMPA recommendation.
The sustainable and economical quality products consist primarily of recycled performance fabric which can be recycled once again at the end of its service life.
Since July 6, 2020, the wearing of face masks has been mandatory throughout the entire public transport network in Switzerland. In fact, the Federal Office of Public Health recommends wearing masks wherever social distancing is not practicable. Increasingly, voices calling for a sustainable and officially-recommended alternative to the previously widely-used FFP masks and medical masks are becoming louder. For this reason, the Swiss National Covid-19 Task Force has worked out the details of a recommendation, and defined the standards to be met. An expedient textile solution for Switzerland which meets these standards comes from within Switzerland. With no long transport routes or reliance on international supply chains.
With the product from the two companies based in the east of Switzerland, Schoeller Textil AG and Forster Rohner AG, the Swiss market now boasts the first textile mask featuring the label “TESTEX Community Mask”.
Together with the EMPA, TESTEX has developed a testing procedure which analyses textile masks with regard to their filter function, spray resistance, comfort of wear, reusability and additionally skin-friendliness of the textiles. By now, numerous Swiss and international consumers, as well as the employees of major companies (e.g. transport companies) have satisfied themselves of the suitability of the Swiss Community Masks for everyday use.
Recyclable fabric made with 60 % recycled fibres
The high-quality fabric components in the mask were developed by the innovative Rheintal-based company Schoeller Textil AG. The two-layer polyester fabric is hydrophilic (having an affinity to water) on the outside and hydrophobic (water-repelling) on the outside and furthermore features an antibacterial finish. Thanks to the cotton-like feel, the fabric offers pleasant wearing comfort. The sustainable fabric consists of 60 % recycled fibres. Within the framework of the wear2wear recycling cooperation (www.wear2wear.org ), the masks can be recycled once again when they reach the end of their life cycle.
The reusable mask is made up by Forster Rohner AG in St. Gallen and in its European subsidiaries. It impresses with optimum fit and tested skin tolerance. All components of the mask comply with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. The testing process screens for numerous controlled and non-controlled substances. Masks with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 label are safe to wear. Forster Rohner also added a fashion component to the technicallyinnovative mask. The subsidiary, Jakob Schlaepfer AG, created a special print for the mask of the kind otherwise only developed for famous couture and prêt-à-porter fashion labels around the world. In addition to white and plain-coloured masks, a limited edition of available print designs emerges, or specific colours or even individual print designs are created for major customers.
Schoeller Textil AG, Sevelen, Switzerland, founded in 1868, occupies a leading position in high-performance textiles and textile technologies in the area of sports and safety wear. The distribution organisation is geared towards international sales, with main focus on Europe, USA and Asia. The Schoeller name stands for innovation, the most modern production methods and stringent environmental standards. The subsidiary Eschler GmbH, Balingen, Deutschland specialises in warp-knitted goods for sportswear and technical applications.
Since its establishment in 1904, the St. Gallen-based family company Forster Rohner AG, now in the fourth generation, has been a leading supplier of high-quality embroidery for the best-known haute couture fashion houses, prêt-à-porter designers and the world’s most renowned lingerie brands. Forster Rohner AG manufactures both at its headquarters in St. Gallen and in production sites in Eastern Europe, on the most modern Swiss-made embroidery machines.