“The FREKA MASK seems to be better than the 3M mask. It is better right?”
Our potential customers often ask us perplexing questions like this one. While we do appreciate comments about our products such as this, our answer would be, no we are not. Rather than comparing ourselves to the 3M mask, it is better to say we admire them.
When we first started developing our version of facewear, it was easy for us to think that our product was going to be much better than any other mask in the world. We were quick to assume that anybody could make the traditional convex shaped disposable masks that we are all accustomed to seeing and believed we could add many positive values while resolving issues such as air leakage, a lack of aesthetic and discomfort.
After creating our very first prototype of FREKA facewear, we decided to showcase our product to various experts. After receiving positive feedback about our design from Professor Denis Doorly from the Imperial College London, a world renowned pioneer in fluid dynamics, we were so proud of our achievements that we had naively thought we were almost at the finish line. However, after that meeting, it took us another two years and over 3 attempts just to be able to pass the test to receive the FPP certification which certifies that our product is suitable for industrial use.
The entire process was very humbling. We poured our hearts and souls into perfecting our facewear but every time we thought that we had perfected it, we came across a new and unexpected problem. We soon realised that wisdom makes us humble, while ignorance makes us proud. (A thought-provoking post about The Island of Knowledge)
Our engineers started reading over 300 research papers, including research papers regarding the simplest of disposable masks and to further understand and grow we even met with a variety of R&D staff that specialise in the field of breathing masks.
On our journey, we were fortunate to meet with the R&D chief of 3M. He told us that the creation of a totally new concept of mask is not something that a start-up like us could manage. The product has to guarantee the life of every human that uses it. As much as we wanted to refute his words by accentuating our start-up spirit, we couldn’t dismiss his words because we felt the weight of his words. Instead, we started to ask ourselves if we had the same amount of accountability when we had first started on our journey and as hard as it was to admit it, we never thought about in the way he had.
The simple look of the convex shaped mask is the product of the ceaseless endeavour of countless people, tons of resources and knowledge and their time. To achieve the correct size and shape of their masks, they have studied facial scans of over 5000 people and made over a thousand experiments just to be able to find the optimal face fitting.
As it stands, we cannot think of a better mask for industrial use other than a 3M mask. The designs of an industrial mask aims to reduce production costs while making certified products that save millions of industrial workers’ lives every year. However, it cannot meet ordinary people’s daily desires of being able to be more comfortable and look good when wearing.
Masks are associated with various negative connotations such as being ugly, and feeling uncomfortable.
However, FREKA believes that masks can have added values. Masks CAN be comfortable and stylish at the same time.
FREKA pursues the creation of FACEWEAR, a lifestyle mask that anybody can easily use! Similar to how we wear eyewear.
FREKA’s motto is simple, but we live every day by this statement.
TOGETHER WE JOYFULLY CREATE VALUES THROUGH THE DEEPEST UNDERSTANDING OF OUR BODY.