Waterloo-based company creates world’s first waterproof, carbon neutral, reusable face mask

By Aastha Shetty

Waterloo-based Sweat Free Apparel has come out with a waterproof, carbon neutral, reusable face mask — the first of its kind in the world.

Founder Chanakya Ramdev said the production and shipping process for the face coverings are completely carbon-neutral to ensure there is no net-impact on the environment.

“This is especially very important because a lot of face coverings are disposable. So you wear it once and it ends up in the landfill. When billions and billions of people are wearing face coverings everyday, that's a lot of face coverings that are ending up in landfills.”

He said unlike Sweat Free Apparel, a number of other clothing brands tend to use the word 'sustainable' as a buzzword.

“What we believe is — just being sustainable is not enough. You have to be carbon-neutral. Completely carbon-neutral.”

Ramdev added that they've had to fulfil some big orders already.

“One of the biggest customers we got is Metrolinx, who runs the GO Bus, GO Train. We were very lucky that they took a chance on a tiny, tiny immigrant-owned startup right here in Waterloo. Metrolinx has bought 10,000 units from us.”

He noted that because of their focus on sustainability, they have already helped protect and preserve over a million square feet of the Amazon rainforest.

“That is also equivalent to all the carbon dioxide that is emitted for charging 1.3-million smartphones. So even though we are a tiny, tiny startup, we are trying to have an impact that is massive. All of that is developed here, in Waterloo.”

The face masks are currently available in two colours, grey and green, and retail for $19.95 per mask.

Ramdev said they are currently outsourcing manufacturing, and he is calling out to any manufacturers interested in partnering up with Sweat Free Apparel.

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