Beautiful, fun and sustainable: Funtastic Masks, composed of Byeplastic (recycled plastic), latex loop (derived from trees native to the Amazonian forest and processed by riverside communities) and cotton fabric filter, will protect you from COVID-19.
The project is a collaboration between Flávia Amadeu, who leads the product design, and Flavia Vanelli from the RatoRói Studio, who is responsible for the surface and material design. The idea emerged as an emergency response at the beginning of the pandemic; a way to create face masks using existing stock of material that both studios already had, designing them in record time to meet the urgent needs of basic communities.
Flávia Amadeu, from Brasília, has a PhD in Design and Sustainability from the London College of Fashion, and is known for her work creating beautiful fashion accessories made from colored rubber sourced from tapping communities in the Amazon rainforest. She is a great supporter of small producers and artisans whose economic activities are integrated with the use of sustainable natural resources. She says that the native product promotes both the inclusion of women and young people in the production chain, and generates income in the forest and encourages the preservation of natural resources in the area.
“The first time I used a mask I felt really bad due to the aesthetics that refer to the disease and hospital. Then came the idea of creating masks that make people feel happier and more comfortable,” says Flávia.
On the other hand, RatoRói a design studio located in Jaraguá do Sul in the state of Santa Catarina, invests in the possibilities that recycled plastic can offer. Based on a careful selection by color, material and degree of cleanliness, laminates called Byeplastic are developed, where textures and colors are worked out in a thoughtful way. RatoRói then sends the laminates to Brasília, and Flávia does the assembly and distribution.
And when the pandemic ends? What will be the fate of the masks? Funtastic Mask is innovative because it is all dismountable: the latex handle (which is biodegradable) can be detached from the plastic barrier, making it easier to send the parts for recycling. In addition, Byeplastic is produced with materials in the purest form possible, so the process doesn’t create any complex mixtures that cannot return to our chain, thus creating a circular production with the correct destination for waste.
To date, the project has sent over 600 cotton masks in May to various communities (it was the result of the first sales). “The masks were produced by our seamstresses to have a larger volume, but also in this circular logic of generating income for them. So in addition to making the filters for the Funtastic Masks, they also made the fabric masks for the riverside communities, with the entire value being reversed. The second wave of donations will take place soon, we will also send a financial aid for the purchase of basic baskets,” Flávia Amedeu says.
To read more about Funtastic Mask, and to help fund the project, visit their website.
Pictures: Matheus Guilherme Ern @matheus_ern
Mask design: Flavia Amadeu @flaviaamadeudesign
Surface design Byeplastic: Ratoroi @ratoroi