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Bettina, leader of the covid 19 alternative mask

18 July 2020 - 14h01

The Monegasque company Bettina, founded in 1954 in the Principality and specialist in luxury knitwear, has knitted, since the start of the health crisis, more than 300,000 masks. Highly technical “Bettimask” they meet in all respects the requirements of the French General Directorate for Armaments. But also are comfortable to wear and particularly aesthetic.

A shop for individuals and professionals, located at 29, Rue Plati and fitted out a few days ago, constitutes the point of sale for Bettina masks. It offers a wide choice of models in various colours to satisfy all tastes. But before being exposed, these masks with high characteristics, underwent deep stages of design, realization, validation and tests as drastic as multiple. It is true that the responsiveness of the 170 employees of the teams of this Monaco entrepreneurial flagship proved to be immediate. From the earliest days of the health crisis, reflection focused on a rapid adaptation of work to be able to meet the expectations of both the authorities and the population in terms of personal protection. “We immediately asked ourselves about a mask project, which was obvious to us because we are used to working with luxury knits in a very short time,” says Philippe Prud’homme, managing director. On March 23rd, the first knitting trials took place. On April 2nd, the first specimens were sent to the Directorate General of Armaments. After validation of these reusable masks for five washes and once the Bettimask brand and the 3D shape registered, a first room of 237m2 was found and then fitted out for their manufacture. Before the end of April, the DGA then validated the ability of the masks to be washed 50 times. To ensure the necessary production rhythm, another additional room is then found. Production then reaches very high rates. “At the height of activity, we produced 30,000 masks per week,” said the managing director, whose teams are made up of almost 50% of employees under 35 and whose internal training is continuous.

Masks increasingly effective, comfortable to wear and aesthetic

If technical innovations are the subject of daily research in workshops, they no longer serve only the strictly alternative aspect. As the evolutions evolve, the masks designed and produced by the famous Monegasque company want to be more and more comfortable to wear. The work on the materials, for example, makes it possible to lighten the mask while preserving its essential characteristics, the “nose clip” ensures a better hold while maintaining the product more effectively, the elastic bands become more comfortable. Breathability is also making progress as new products are released. Provider of the biggest French luxury brands with worldwide renown, Bettina also takes care of the design of its masks. Kyrielle of colours, wide possibility of customization in the image of the mask offered to the Sovereign recently, adding elements like transferred logos offer the wearer an exceptional choice. This adds, indirectly to the alternative aspect: if it becomes more aesthetic or even a fashion object, the mask will then be worn much more often, thus strengthening the fight against viruses of all kinds.

Soon a 100% bio-based mask

If the mask currently poses a new problem of pollution, its degradation time being long, the last product signed Bettina turns out to be biobased, that is to say from natural materials, to 95%. Processing, it is done only in Europe and without the use of polluting substances. “We now include our masks in a virtuous approach,” explains Philippe Prud’homme. “And we aim for 100% biobased, a goal that we should reach very soon, while retaining the priority that represents our intransigence over the intrinsic qualities of our masks.”

Georges-Olivier KALIFA

© DR

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