FAQ

Why are your masks made out of polyester fabric?


Firstly, we do not just use polyester across the Revolution-ZERO endorsed product range and our masks will not necessarily always be made out of polyester. We use the most appropriate material based on a variety of factors including environmental, social, economic impact and effectiveness. We favour polyester as it is one of the most recyclable materials there are. In addition there is an extensive international community continually improving the efficiency and decreasing the environmental impact of polyester recycling. Though it may be counterintuitive to want to work with a compound that has been made from petrochemicals we need to consider the larger picture. The environmental impact of different fabrics has been argued by academics and scientists for a long time. There are a lot of factors to be considered, including where the fabric is sourced from and how it was produced. Some natural fabrics, such as cotton, are manufactured using methods that have negative social (labour conditions), water use and energy (including transport) impact which may in balance be worse than utilising polyester as a material. At Revolution-ZERO our key aim is focused on finding the best environmental and socially responsible solutions for PPE and materials from source to circulation. That’s why we are constantly exploring new products, fabrics and solutions to help develop the best circular economy solution. We are not wedded to polyester or cotton but for now they seem to be the best option. Continue to watch this space - and contribute to it if you can!




Is Revolution-ZERO just about masks?


No!!! Revolution-ZERO is addressing all single use PPE from gloves, to gowns through to masks. We currently have a focus on masks as single use masks are making a negative impact environmental impact through use across all society and industries. As well as masks also supply aprons, gowns, coveralls, theatre caps, drapes and visors. We have reusable solutions for all types of PPE apart from gloves. However, we are working on environmentally friendly solutions to decrease gloves use whilst enhancing safety. Please contact us if interested in working with the Revolution-ZERO team on these.




What clinical certifications do the masks have?


As well as being designed and manufactured in accordance with European standards such as EN14683 (medical device standard for masks), EN149 (PPE standard for masks) and EN13795:1 (standard for surgical clothing) all of our PPE undergoes independent testing with certified laboratories both on first use and after the certified number of wash/dry cycles. Examples of these measurements for our masks include: Bioburden (cleanliness), Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE), Particle Filtration Efficiency, Breathability, Splash resistance and Flammability. As of 28 January, 2021 our Revolution-ZERO performance range of masks have been CE marked to EN14683:2019 standard as Type IIR for 0-40 washes. We have 24 different functional variations including ear loops, head bands, different filter architectures and sizes, and antimicrobial/antiviral coatings (ISO18184 to 50 washes). Please contact us at standards@revolution-zero.com if you require further information including certifications and independent testing results.




How does circular economy apply to Revolution-ZERO?


Our world, our planet, is in trouble. Not just from the environmental and social cost of PPE production, distribution and disposal but from multiple consumables and our “fast consumer” driven culture of produce, use and waste cycles. All of us need to step up and have a close look in the mirror. At Revolution-ZERO we are continuing to look in the mirror and ask our partners, and colleagues in the national and international circular economy networks to continue to provide us with pragmatic criticism and feedback so we can continue to improve the sustainability of our solutions. The Revolution-ZERO principles of zero waste and zero carbon are the basis of our mission. These are built on foundations of environmental, social, economic and behavioural sustainability. Our logo “Protecting You and Your World” encompasses these foundations. This leads us to a sustainable circular vision of produce, use, recycle and regenerate. For a conversation or any further details please email us at: sustainability@revolution-zero.com




What do you mean by recycle and regenerate?


Good Question. Recycle and regenerate refers to the processes that we will use and continue to add to and improve to meet and exceed our zero waste and zero carbon targets. Our aim is to reach the point where we are part of the global team that is successfully improving and maintaining our environment and society. The different recycling processes that we use include: Restoration of used PPE for use in other settings Repurposing of materials for use in other goods Mechanical Recycling of fibres for integration into new products such as insulation or textiles Chemical Recycling through breaking down of fibres into raw materials so they can be introduced into multiple manufacturing processes Regeneration relates to both our direct work in stimulating local supply chains, choosing renewal energy sources for all processes and our indirect work in funding initiatives that offset carbon impact through a proportion of sales.




Is Revolution-ZERO really carbon neutral?


We are on a mission for full carbon neutrality which is a journey. Ideally all of our processes will in balance take more carbon dioxide and other emissions away from the atmosphere than they produce. At the moment we are unable to achieve this so we first estimate the amount of emissions produced by production, distribution, use, recycling and regeneration. We then take this figure and we purchase “carbon credits” from carbon offset organisations (who do activities such as plant trees, protect forests and are like us on a mission to save the world). As we learn more about our processes we will continue to modify our carbon offset to make sure we at least maintain neutrality and if at all possible become carbon negative. An example of refinement is utilising Petratex as our production partner in Portugal. They are a EU gold environmental standard organisation who have saved over 1000 tonnes of carbon dioxide since 2012 through over-production from their onsite installed solar panels alone. We are also actively working with local communities to look at “at home” and close to consumer production both stimulating local economies and decreasing transportation impact.




Where is Revolution-ZERO PPE including masks produced?


We source all our PPE and associated services such as packaging and laundry as close to where it is going to be used unless there is a very good reason not to. As of February 2021 our PPE is manufactured in UK, Ireland and Portugal. Our Portugese partners are the European Environment Gold Standard manufacturer Petratex. We use them as they both share our “save the world” values and are highly technical competent having produced some of the most innovative textiles ever used including all the Speedo performance wear that has been used for breaking world records. Related to that Petratex and Speedo are committed to complete circular manufacturing compliant swimwear for the 2024 Olympics. No mean feat given the advanced mixed fibre composition of elite sporting fabrics.




Is a Type IIR mask PPE?


Type IIR masks refer to the EN14683 standard which is a medical device standard. The medical device standard is for protecting other people. It is aimed at protecting patients from contaminants from the wearer. This differs from PPE which refers to the EN149 standard which is aimed at protecting the wearer. The typical grades for EN149 are FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 and these grades have emphasis on the seal around the face as opposed to EN14683 which has emphasis filtration ability. Also EN14683 are rated according to bacterial filtration whereas EN149 are rated to particle filtration. The EN14683 standard was developed for the medical industry whereas the EN149 has more of a construction industry, dust protection (such as asbestos fibres), focus. If masks are used for both purposes then they would ideally comply with both the EN149 and the EN14683 standards. In an ideal world a mask used in a clinical setting would protect the user to the EN149 and EN14683 standard.




Do I have to wash the masks at 60 degrees celsius?


The NHS guidelines state that biologically contaminated/soiled items, such as masks, need to be washed at 60C using normal detergent or 40C using a bleach based detergent. We refer people to these guidelines for mask use. See: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-prevent-germs-from-spreading/




Do I need to use a laundry bag to wash my mask?


We recommend that masks are either washed in a laundry bag or by hand. This applies to any reusable mask as the straps can get tangled in heavier items which can pull at the seams and cause damage.




Will my employer allow me to wear Revolution-ZERO masks or other PPE?


This very much depends on your employer’s workplace policies on disposable and reusable PPE use. Our masks and other PPE items are being trialled by the NHS for workplace use and have been found to be well suited for use in a variety of clinical and non-clinical areas. We also supply high volumes of masks to the engineering and transport industries. We would welcome a conversation with your employer regarding this. Even if they are not ready to look at reusables now we are always happy to start engagement. Please ask them to contact us at: workplace@revolution-zero.com




How many times can I wear/ wash masks or PPE?


All of our masks are certified to 40 x 60 celsius wash and 120 celsius dry cycles maintaining 99-100% filtration efficiency after 40 cycles. Our other PPE is certified to the highest standard (high protection or reinforced) for 20 wash/dry cycles. The EN13795 standard (for general surgical PPE) has two levels which are high protection and standard protection. After 20 washes our other PPE, including aprons and gowns exceeds the standard protection specifications by five fold in all exposed areas including seams. We also have CE marked standard protection EN13795:1 PPE which is certified to 75 and 100 wash cycles. If you have specific clinical or non-clinical needs regarding PPE use please discuss these with us directly by emailing: workplace@revolution-zero.com




What do I do with masks or other PPE when it has reached the end of its re-use life?


Whilst we establish our recycling, regeneration and repurposing programme we ask you to return washed masks/PPE to us for storage and processing.




Can I get my organisation's logo printed on masks?


Yes, across our range of masks we can either embroider or attach printed labels. For our M range of masks we can offer simple unicolour logo through to multiple colour, picture quality printing.




How many times do I need to reuse the mask for it to be better in carbon terms than using disposables?


Once!!! Unlike disposables our masks are produced using renewable energy sources. We are also producing the masks close to home. We are also making a carbon offset payment for each Revolution-ZERO mask which includes transport and laundering the masks to make sure they are as close to carbon neutral as they can be from purchase all the way through to the last wash/dry cycle.




Are the masks hypoallergenic?


Yes, all masks are hypoallergenic and skin safe. They do not shed microfibres like many masks and they wick moisture away to provide a more healthy skin environment. Our masks have different heat retention properties due to their design. If you generally overheat in masks we recommend that you select the M1 range for use.




Are these as hygienic as disposables?


Yes and generally more so, both due to our high production standards and as they are sterilised after manufacture. One of the EN14683 standards relates to bioburden where the amount of biological material measured in colony forming units (CFUs) across the item is assessed. The standard states that there must be less than 30 CFUs. After manufacture the CFUs are typically 1 or none, whereas after wash/dry cycles the CFU ratings are typically less than 3 CFUs. As part of the production quality control CFUs are measured. In addition all masks are sterilised after they come off the production line which will remove any CFUs.




How long will my mask last?


Your mask will typically last for 40 wash/dry cycles. This could be over 40 days or 400 days. Due to the nature of the make up there is no expected deterioration over time. These qualities also allow us to more readily recycle and regenerate mask materials back into the manufacturing process and are a core component of our circular economy ethos.




How many masks do I need to buy?


This generally depends on your mask usage. For most people who hand wash their masks a set of three masks is probably ideal.




Are the masks and other PPE produced ethically?


Yes. Part of the Revolution-ZERO process is to monitor our supply chain. Though we are not able to physically visit and inspect the entire supply chain due to global travel restrictions we do seek assurances and when possible certifications from suppliers starting at the raw materials sourcing and production through to packaging and delivery. We are constantly refining and evolving our monitoring processes. As the Revolution builds we will utilise more resources to ensure we have the most robust, socially and environmentally friendly supply chain, becoming the reference standard for ethically responsible PPE provision.




How can I get Climate Stripes masks?


As of March 2021 we are only producing Climate Stripes masks for the NHS and councils. If you work in the NHS or social care please contact us using your work email address at sales@revolution-zero.co.uk and we will assign you a password to access the health and social care link under the shop. If you do not work in health and social care please email us to show interest. If we have enough interest we will do a manufacturing run of non NHS branded Climate Stripes masks and make them generally available.





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