Factory making £49 face-masks creates 30 jobs in Rotherham

A multi-million pound face-mask factory has opened in Rotherham creating 30 jobs.

By David Walsh
Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:05 pm

The Masuku ‘One’ costs £49 and comprises a hi-tech exterior and straps and a biodegradable filter.

The firm claims it is ‘unequalled in filtration efficiency, breathability and comfort, and will offer strong protection from dangerous particles in the air including airborne pathogens, allergens and pollutants’.

It also says it is ‘the world’s most sustainable face-mask’.

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A model wears a Masuku One

The business, based at at Eden Close on Hellaby Industrial Estate, started production last month. It stems from a partnership between supermodel Natalia Vodianova and design firm Pentatonic.

Natalia said: “When we started the project in 2016, we knew that developing a highly sophisticated air filtration was pointless if not fully sustainable at the core. Today our masks offer a truly safe and comfortable breathing experience, with no impact on the planet.”

A Masuku spokeswoman added: “After scouring Europe for the best site and location, Masuku chose Hellaby in Rotherham in the North of England, as the first hub for mass production.”

This site, known as the AirLab, will also begin producing the Masuku Daily, a single-use range of masks, with production due to start in April.

The factory on Eden Close on Hellaby Industrial Estate

The Masuku One is £49 as a one-off purchase, and £22 as part of a monthly subscription.

The company was assisted by Sheffield manufacturer OSL Cutting Technologies, which provided an off-the-peg manufacturing system.

Mathew Grey, group chief executive of OSL CT said: “We are proud to have been instrumental in attracting such an exciting employer to Rotherham.

“Masuku’s business model represents a positive shift in how businesses can bring a new product to market. It is superior in performance to its competition and unique in its design while having environmental considerations at the forefront of its conception.

OSL Cutting Technologies group CEO Mathew Grey.

OSL CT has developed a cloud-based system that allows companies to start a manufacturing business with core competencies such as finance, HR, health and safety and procurement to be provided from day one, he added.

He added: “Using this ERP infrastructure, Masuku is able to access our custom built processes, governance and most importantly people – saving time for Masuku while connecting them to best in class functionality."

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.