Face masks are likely going to become a staple part of our new normal as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
They are now compulsory on London transport, and recommended on all public transport and any spaces where it would be too difficult to maintain social distancing.
But forgetting your face mask isn’t like forgetting your lunch or your umbrella – if there’s no quick fix, and going without one could put you or others at risk.
Luckily, one company has now launched the first face mask vending machines in the capital – to help you out if you need a face mask while on the go.
MASKEY launched in May, just before the government started urging people to wear masks in public.
The vending machines are currently installed in 10 shopping centres across London, Essex and Surrey, and also by three underground stations Loughton, Chigwell and Woodford. This list is rapidly growing.
Designed and made in London, the masks cost £6-8 and are available in an array of playful prints and colours. MASKEY also offer a bespoke, embroidered service for corporate businesses.
‘All masks are made in London by a machinist wearing a face mask and gloves and within seconds of being completed, steamed at over 90 degrees and then instantly placed into a sealed plastic wallet,’ says founder Adam Freeman.
‘No one can enter the factory without a face mask and gloves and the entrance is protected by a double entry/exit system.’
Adam wanted the masks to be instantly available to anyone, at any time.
With many vending machines in decline over lockdown, he removed the refrigeration units and repurposed the machines for his masks. He also made all payment/keypads contactless for extra safety.
‘10% of the profit from each sale will be donated to the charity Lenderhand, which is currently supporting the NHS along with individuals and families in need during this crisis,’ adds Adam. ‘MASKEY have also been able to give jobs to seamstress’s, engineers and local people that were out of work due to lockdown.
‘I came up with the idea after seeing my friend’s London based suit manufacturing business struggling due to the pandemic.
‘At the time, it was difficult to get hold of a mask and I wasn’t confident other masks were made with strict safety measures in place. I asked if he could make masks and it went from there.
Once we came up with a solution of modifying the vending machines we were good to go.The vending machines give everyone instant accessibility to cover up in a variety of playful prints and keep safe whilst out and about.’