When we first partnered with our friends at Bioscarf in 2017, the Southern California wildfires making breathing hazardous in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. This scarf was the ideal solution to protect the wearer from dangerous particulate matter hanging in the air—and I got myself one (above), which I now use whenever I head to the grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It was invented by an American couple after a business trip to China, when Carlton Solle became ill, most likely due to complications related to air pollution. As an alternative to wearing disposable masks to protect themselves, they turned to fashion.
Back in Atlanta, his wife Hazel came up with the idea to design a product that would work both as a scarf and also a filter—and, in 2017, the company began sending free shipments to journalists who were out breathing the hazardous air while covering the fires—and to firefighters, too.
The Bioscarf might be considered a genius example of wearable technology because it filters dangerous levels of toxic particulates, but it uses no gadgets, processors, or batteries.
3 layers of protection in their debut model guarded against hazardous contaminants that pose a health risk—including, according to the company, many of the bacteria and germs that cause colds and viruses (frequent flyers, take note). With its U.S. rating of N95, the generously sized scarf is capable of blocking 99.75% of all particles 0.1 microns in size or larger—and 95% of all non-oil based airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns.
The “first of its kind”, this scarf became available only online in olive, black, and white and it is sustainably constructed from recycled materials. The plush polyester blend uses 100% post-consumer recycled PET water bottles, and customer satisfaction is guaranteed.
By November of 2017, at the time of the Thomas Fire, the new company has already donated more than a thousand scarves in the U.S. to people in fire zones and elsewhere, and to friends in China where approximately 1.6 million people die prematurely every year due to poor air quality.
Fast forward to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. I got in touch with Carlton and learned that they had added a variety of new products. Most notably, a line of cold weather gaiters, as well as summer scarves and gaiters made of hemp. They also added a baby blanket, a hoodie which protects the entire upper body except the eyes, and a reusable, washable face mask, perfect for healthcare workers, which is less costly than the scarves or gaters, retailing for just $25.
With the recent addition of a nano-fiber layer, these new products can be washed 50 times before they even begin to degrade in the slightest. They can be washed 100 times and still be rated the equivalent of an N95, because their filtration technology is, as Carlton told me, “like N95 on steroids”.
They also are launching a Wrap The Warriors program to give away 20,000 of their Bioshield face masks to front line workers. Similar masks, which you can buy on their website for $25 include 1″ elastic bands in a specially designed strap system for secure fit and comfort—and they are reusable and washable up to 100 times, effectively replacing one million single-use disposable face masks. They feature a rugged exterior fabric that is water-resistant and anti-bacterial, too. (These masks will ship in 4-6 weeks, so late May–mid June. Scarves and gaiters can ship in two weeks.)
“Anyone who is seeking a fashionable and functional scarf to protect themselves–or loved ones, and is interested in helping to turn the tide on sicknesses around the world, should give the Bioscarf a try,” Hazel Solle told GNN.
So now, besides being a perfect apparel piece for anyone who bicycles in the city, works around vehicles, regularly travels in airplanes or buses, or just lives in a smoggy region, people can protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.
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