Before COVID-19, people in Hong Kong were already accustomed to wearing masks – not only from their experience with SARS, but also due to the poor air quality. Someone who knows this well is Victor Lee, founder of NanoKnit masks.
Growing up in Toronto before moving to Hong Kong in 2017, Victor worked as a structural engineer designing hotels in Macau. While onsite, he saw firsthand the importance of wearing masks to protect against dust, smoke and fumes, which made him further realise the importance of clean air and how masks can facilitate this.
Launched in March 2020, Nanoknit is a reusable and sustainable mask that is made with a seamless, 3D Nanoknit fabric. At first glance, it might look similar to the material of a sock, except that it’s much thinner and smoother.
By using a knit-to-shape algorithm and machine automation, NanoKnit are able to produce fabric panels with less than 4% fabric wastage, preventing tons of material from going into the landfills each year.
NanoKnit currently have two types of masks: Classic and Ultra.
We had the chance to try out the Nanoknit Ultra masks, which are their lightest masks to date with two layers of 3D Nanoknit fabric. Available in a variety of colours, each mask has a hidden pocket accessible from the chin where you can slip in a PM2.5 filter for added protection.
The fabric is smooth, seamless, and very high quality. When worn, it stays slim against the face but doesn’t feel tight, while the adjustable noseband and ear loops ensure a snug fit. Moreover, the fabric is quick-dry and moisture-wicking to stay cool and comfortable.
The masks come in three sizes to fit kids, teens and adults alike, and washing is simple and easy (the noseband can be removed for washing to prevent being bent out of shape). Just remove the filter, soap up, rinse and hang-dry, and you’re good to go the next day.
Overall, the masks are great and we received a lot of compliments from people, especially asking where to buy them. We especially loved how the moulded nose shape gave us a defined nose even with the mask on. One thing that could be improved though is the little rubber ring that’s for adjusting the ear loops – design-wise, they didn’t really fit with the rest of the mask (just our two cents).
Also, the bottom of the mask can tend to hang off the face like a sheet if the mask is a little big for your face, so if there was a way to have that stick closer to the jawline, even better.
NanoKnit’s masks are really one of the best, most stylish and well-made reusable masks on the market. With a wide variety of colours on offer, their 3D design and seamless fabric, plus the option to add a filter, they’re definitely worth having in your collection of reusable masks.
Price: HK$185 for a pack of two masks; available on nanoknitmask.com