John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
What pairs best with the Asian brown cloud? Try the "Vogmask."
Sure, you could let China's life-shortening, city-shuttering smog keep you moping indoors. Or, you could get out there and make it work for you, using one of these designer air-pollution masks that's as stylish as it is functional.
The age-old question for Chinese citizens – what accessory pairs best with the brown cloud – has finally been answered by Vogmask. The company was founded by a Western consultant who, after surveying many students in China, came to believe that the "greatest challenge" for the country's next generation will be air pollution. So Vog teamed up with Plastered T-Shirts and whipped up these jazzy masks, catered toward urban youth and stitched together with chromatic microfiber, a protective layer of carbon, and the obligatory "valve."
Shanghaist has the story:
The day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived: designer pollution masks are hitting the streets of urban China. Battle pollution in style with one of these babies, coming in a range of colors and patterns and fitted with the latest filtration technology. Just what you need to keep it classy during Airpocalypse Shanghai....
Aside from your standard stylish patterns, you can also get custom branded masks for companies, schools, etc. Air IQ China will have exclusive distribution rights to the masks, and they will be available starting December 12. They come in both adult and child sizes.
And here is Vogmask's product description from a "Happy UFO Microfiber" version for adolescents:
The valve makes the mask perfect for exercise such as cycling and running, helping you to breathe comfortably.
This mask also features an additional carbon layer to adsorb smells and filter out gasses such as Ozone and Formaldehyde (the product of car exhaust and industrial emissions)
The microfiber material filters 99.978% of PM 2.5 as well as exceeding US FDA fit test requirements by 140%.
It protects against air pollution, bacteria, viruses such as H7N9 as well as second-hand cigarette smoke.
Individual masks retail for as little as $29.50, according to the product list available here, and can be worn for 400 hours before needing a replacement. And best of all, they make you look fierce in a Shredder kind of way: