The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) asked the Textile Research Institute of Terrassa (INTEXTER) to carry out a study in order to choose the most suitable mask on the market for the protection of the staff and the students in the University.
A commission made up of teaching and research experts, as well as administration staff, studied 14 different types of reusable hygienic masks on the market. Checking that they met the UNE 0065: 2020 specification and that they had the correct certifications, as well as their ergonomics and comfort of use.
The commission highlighted that, there is a high number of masks in the market which do not guarantee their effectiveness, since they are not approved by a laboratory accredited by ENAC (National Accreditation Entity) such as AITEX.
After discarding the ones which were not certified by AITEX, they proceeded to rate the characteristics of each hygienic mask based on its quality and safety, as well as environmental and cost aspects. Specifically, the bacterial filtration efficiency, the differential pressure, the certifying center, the composition, the guaranteed number of minimum washes or the production place of were valued.
The winning model was the Skut Mask, manufactured by Arpe in Arenys de Munt (Barcelona). Made with recycled yarn from post-consumer PET bottles and using 100% renewable energy (Som Energia).
The committee of experts highlighted the long textile tradition of the Catalan company, its commitment to the environment (ISO14001) and the circular economy. As well as the certified quality guarantee ISO9001, the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class I security guarantee and the accreditation of Recycled content from the Global Recycled Standard (GRS).
The awards and recognitions received such as the 3rd PSI Sustainability Award 2019 (Wiesbaden, Germany), AITPA’s 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award or the Company’s Social Values Award (Pimes PIMEC 2016 Awards) were also taken into account.