Irish company Qsafe has created a mask which will enable hairdressers to protect both their staff and customers once they reopen
Qsafe is based in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and is part of the marketing services company Absolute Group, which has been in business for over 15 years. Currently working towards social distancing solutions, the company has released a mask which will enable hairdressers to protect both their staff and customers once they reopen.
The Respirator Face Mask is a product promising a high level of protection against airborne particulates and droplets. It is a lightweight face mask made from medical grade silicone rubber and polycarbonate, with comfortable head straps that make it easy for staff to wear throughout the working day.
Dermot Malone, Director of Qsafe, says: “When Covid19 hit our shores, we received an urgent request for assistance from one of our regular clients […] This time the brief was different – ‘please help us to keep our customers apart!’ We very quickly recognised that this was a problem that faced every retailer and, understanding the urgency that was required, the Qsafe brand was created over a brief 4-day period.
“From the 13th of March to St. Patrick’s Day, we developed the Qsafe brand, prototyped our first social distancing solution, tested and refined the product from live retail feedback, produced our first production run, received an order for 1000+ stores and went live with our ecommerce qsafe.ie website.”
Manufactured in an automated clean room environment, CE approved and tested to comply with European standards, the mask seals around the mouth and nose, which greatly benefits its wearer
Available in a variety of colours the mask features a silicone bed which seals around the mouth and nose, ensuring the air that is breathed in is filtered through the high quality KN95 filter. The sturdy polycarbonate filter housing is long lasting, and filters only need to be replaced every 5-7 days.
The Qsafe mask aims to offer peace of mind to business owners and customers alike from particulates and airborne water droplets.
“Let’s get one thing straight though,” Malone continues, “the mask is not a medical device. In order for a face mask to be used in a critical health care setting it must be disposable, which it isn’t. It is, however, ideal for many industry and business uses where colleagues and customers must interact within the safe 2m social distancing space. This includes the personal care industry (hair and beauty), taxi drivers, hospitality and many manufacturing facilities where staying 2m apart simply isn’t possible.
Manufactured in an automated clean room environment, CE approved and tested to comply with European standards, the mask seals around the mouth and nose, which greatly benefits its wearer, according to Malone: “A key feature of the mask is the silicone seal around the mouth and nose. This seal gives comfort to the user that their breathing is controlled through the N95 filter, and also has the added advantage of not fogging up glasses, a problem occurring with many masks.
“Speech is also quite clear through the mask, which is ideal for the likes of retail and the personal care industry.”
Like all Face Masks, handling is important, and hand washing continues to be a mandatory practice for everyone’s protection. Qsafe is providing detailed videos for mask set up, daily cleaning, and weekly filter replacement and sterilisation. These are available on YouTube.
Malone continues: “Hopefully, the Covid19 crisis will subside in the not-too-distant future. However, this could be 8-to-12 months away. At that time, Qsafe’s raison d’etre will have diminished, but the skill sets that were used to create and market a brand during a crisis will have been honed.
“Absolute has been a successful company since its inception with a nimble, flexible and creative team. We have been through a crash, a recession and now a global pandemic and, along the way, won some international awards for design.
“We are never short of ideas. Someone rings us with an issue and we instantly go into problem solving mode […] Our success with Qsafe was down to a laser-like focus on finding a solution to a real and pressing problem and making it affordable and accessible nationwide as quickly as possible.
“This is a lot easier to do than creating a product and then trying to create a demand. 100% focus on customer care is a prerequisite though. You won’t solve a problem by just being a box-shifter, as sooner rather than later, the problem shifts and the solution needs to shift too.”