Textiles & Apparel / Garment


Sustainable, protective masks from Forster Rohner with Schoeller fabrics

Switzerland is pulling together: Swiss textile companies forming a consortium with research and test institutes to collaborate on the development of a washable, protective mask for community members. These high-quality masks are both sustainable and economical with recycled functional fabric that can also be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

Sustainable, protective masks from Forster Rohner with Schoeller fabrics

The Covid-19 crisis has shattered the status quo and created new priorities, with protection as a top focus. Switzerland has come up with its own practical textile solution for Swiss citizens that does not require long transport routes or reliance on international supply chains. Two textile companies from Eastern Switzerland, Schoeller Textil AG and Forster Rohner AG, are launching a washable mask for community members that complies with the recommendations of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force.

Recyclable fabric made of 60 percent recycled fibers

The high-quality fabric components of the mask have been developed by the innovative Rhine Valley company Schoeller Textil AG. Schoeller has brought its expertise in fabric development, as well as its experience in textile finishing technologies for increased comfort and protection to the project. The two-layer polyester weave is hydrophilic (water-receptive) on the inside and hydrophobic (water-repellent) on the outside. Thanks to outstanding air permeability and the use of special yarns that feel like cotton, the resulting textile is extremely comfortable to wear. For many years Schoeller has also been focused on sustainable solutions – the basic fabric was developed within the framework of the wear2wear recycling collaboration (www.wear2wear.org), consists of more than 60 percent recycled fibres, and can be recycled again at the end of its lifespan.

Forster Rohner AG is manufacturing the reusable masks in St. Gallen and has been perfecting the industrial manufacturing process with embroidery machines and sophisticated sewing technology. The wearing comfort of the mask was fine-tuned by employees conducting extensive wear testing in their daily work routine. The result is a washable mask for community members with an optimum fit, it can be worn daily for up to 7 days without washing.

(c) 2020 Schoeller
(c) 2020 Schoeller

With this practice, the mask score highly in terms of its ecological credentials and is also far more economical than a disposable product. Forster Rohner is also adding a fashionable element to the technically highly innovative mask. Its subsidiary, Jakob Schlaepfer AG, well-known for its Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter establishments around the world, is creating its own prints for the masks. Alongside white and plain colors, the masks will also be available in a Limited Edition series of beautiful print designs consumers can choose from.

In accordance with Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force Guidelines

The Swiss masks have been tested by the EMPA in St. Gallen. They have passed the spray and filter tests, as well as the breathing activity test. The masks are available immediately and can be procured by Swiss enterprises, transport companies, etc., for their staffs. It is also possible to order customer-specific colors or prints. Swiss end consumers can also obtain the masks from various online shops of the partners involved.

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