We hate to sound repetitive, but with COVID-19 continuing to take its toll on our city, surgical masks are still highly-sought after items these days. Luckily, Hongkongers are a truly innovative bunch. Taking matters into our own hands, Hong Kong now has a handful of manufacturers and start-ups who recently began mass production of face masks. We're no experts when it comes to mask-making, but we want to do every bit we can to help. Who, what, where, and how – here's everything you need to know about these Hong Kong-made masks.
Before we start, here are some lingo you need to know:
BFE - Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 3 microns upwards)
PFE - Particulate Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 microns upwards)
VFE - Viral Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 to 5 microns upwards)
ASTM - An ASTM standardised face mask can be categorised as level one (low protection), level two (medium protection), and level three (high protection).
5 locally-made face masks brands in Hong Kong
First up we have Sinopharm Tech Holdings Limited. Three set options are available – Safe set (three-ply/layer disposable face masks; $125/box of 50pcs), Professional set (N95 standard masks; $660/box of 20pcs or $1,500/box of 50pcs), and the Trustworthy set (N95 standard mask (50pcs/box) and two three-ply disposable face masks (50pcs/box); $1,700). The Trustworthy set is designed for frontline medical staff and their families. Each customer is allowed to buy one to three boxes, depending on the set.
Those who would like to purchase will have to register online to receive a confirmation email with pickup details. The first round of pre-sale, which allowed a purchasing quota of 250,000 took place on March 17 and sold out within 20 minutes. Stay tuned on the official Facebook page or website for more announcements on the second round of pre-sale.
Three-ply disposable face mask: BFE≧95%, PFE≧95%
N95 standard mask: BFE≧99.7%, PFE ≧99.799%, meets GB19083-2010 and YY0469-2011 technical requirements
Founded in February 2020 (yes, just a month ago), Mask Factory manufactures face masks made from nonwoven fabric. Spanning across a 20,000 sq ft factory space with 12 production lines, Mask Factory has a variety of masks available ranging from $50 to $150 (50 pcs per box).
The first round of pre-order opened on March 11, but due to the huge amount of traffic going to the site, the platform experienced many hiccups and received a lot of complaints. Mask Factory quickly apologised for the inconvenience and hoped everyone can understand that they are doing their best to supply masks to everyone. The details on the second round of pre-order will be announced on their Facebook page.
B95 mask ($50)
Nelson Lab certified, BFE>95%
B99 mask ($100)
ASTM: F2101-01 tested with a result of BFE up to 99%
P95 mask ($75)
Nelson Lab certified, BFE+PFE>95%; can filter particles from 3 microns upwards
P99 mask ($125)
Nelson Lab PFE99 certified; BFE+PFE>99%; can filter particles from 0.1 microns upwards
V99 mask ($150)
Nelson Lab VFE99 certified; BFE+PFE+VFE>99%; can filter particles from 0.1 to 5 microns upwards
If you're looking for something a little more sustainable, HK Mask is your answer. Initiated by Dr K.Kwong, a former CUHK lecturer with a PhD in chemistry from HKU, HK Mask is a joint effort between Kwong, and local companies Sew On Studio and Focus Filtration and Engineering Limited.
Manufactured by Sew On Studio, cloth pieces are sewn together to create reusable face masks that allow disposable filters, made by Focus Filtration and Engineering Limited, to fit inside a pocket. Keep your eyes peeled on Sew On Studio's Facebook for announcements on purchases, and we highly recommend checking out Kwong's Facebook where he regularly shares tips and insights to preventing the virus!
Adult mask set: $150/pack of 2pcs; size XXS to L
Nanofiber disposable filter core: $70/pack of 30pcs; Adult size (filtration efficiency of up to 86%)
Co-founded by four friends who all work in the medical industry, MasHker is dedicated to creating high-quality face masks that are 100% made in Hong Kong. With the first round of pre-order that took place on March 10, MasHker also launched a 'pay it forward' scheme where for every two boxes of masks ($248 for two boxes of 51pcs) purchased, one box will be donated to different local NGOs and patient groups in need. Visit here for details and announcements on the next round of pre-order.
Three-ply disposable face mask: BFE≧99%; meets EN14683 standard ratings
Having sold out within minutes of its first round of pre-sale, One Mask HK is founded by Ho Sik Hon, physiotherapist and CEO of sports medical company Sportsline. Offering each box of face masks (30pcs) at a low price of $68, One Mask HK ensures that every single mask is of the utmost quality with their chief technology officer, who has over 30 years of mask-making experience in charge.
Similar to MasHker, One Mask HK has also pushed out a donation scheme in order to help those in need. Customers can opt for the – roughly translated – 'One Box One Team' (一盒一合) set, where for $138, you can receive one box of masks (30pcs) whilst donating another box to those in need. Click here for more information on how to pre-order.
30pcs per box: BFE/PFE >95%; awaiting ASTM standard results from Nelson Lab
Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme
The government has recently approved the first two production lines under the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme. Topwill Passion Limited is expected to supply an average of 2 million masks every month starting from April 20, and a further 250,000 masks for the local market on average every month. The second approved production line Shang Manufactory Limited is expected to supply an average of 800,000 masks to the government every month starting May 5. A subsidy quota of 18 other production lines still remain.
Online shopping platform HKTVmall has started its first test round of mask production. The platform is expected to have masks available for sale in two to three weeks. Check out this video to see how everything came together from setting up the machines to the actual mask production!
Vita Green has partnered up with Focus & Co (Far East) Limited to produce nanofiber antiviral masks. A total of 3 million masks are expected to be produced, with each mask being ASTM: F2100 certified and BFE≧95%.
New World Development
New World Development Company Limited is working in partnership with Master Dynamic Limited to research and develop masks with NanoDiamonds technology. Adult and children-sized masks will be produced, with each mask at ASTM Level one and above. Production lines are expected to make 100,000 masks daily starting from April.