Looking at the new Closca Mask, it might seem that the claim of the brand, “Inspire Change”, was created by and for it and thinking about these enclosed months. But no. It is simply that both concepts, the mask and the motto — the foldable helmets for cyclists— respond to the same spirit of the brand: practical and beautiful design at the service of reflection.
This spirit had already been recognized by the world with the Gold award in the Delta ADI-FAD 2016 and the Red Dot Design awards in 2015 and 2017. Their products are featured not only on their website but also in design cathedrals such as the MoMA and Guggenheim museums in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. But what is Closca Mask? The innovative reusable mask by the Valencian company redesigns the unexpected symbol of the pandemic. The mask has become the icon of the “Age of the Coronavirus”, but much earlier it was already a characteristic object of the 21st century.
Closca Mask covers our mouths, but it speaks loudly on behalf of the brand. It makes us remember that there is an urban environment that sickens and kills millions of people every year. Closca proposes that we redefine aesthetics and functionality in that adverse environment to reform it. Their mission is to raise awareness and provide sustainability in your daily life.
Carlos Ferrando is the CEO and founder and is very clear about this: “I wish there didn’t have to be a design mask to be able to go out on the streets”. He believes that a cultural change will come because “for the first time for many people, we will stop seeing the facial expressions of those around us.” And, at a time when we greet each other with clasping elbows and a tender hug seems like a crime, we wonder if he is not right. So should we buy them or what? It’s up to you. But, mostly, we have to think about them.
Design applied to change can only make sense if we think about the contexts. That is why the Closca Mask proposal seeks to “achieve a better future”, more sustainable, reflective, honest and beautiful. Less disposable and more persistent, more authentic. A world without masks, in short. With Closca Mask, Carlos Ferrando wants to raise awareness. He wants to make you think: yes, masks are necessary today, but let’s ask ourselves why. And let’s think about what has to change so that we don’t need them anymore.
Closca Mask is designed to help you avoid smog, pollution, microorganisms, and pollen. But then came something no one expected: COVID-19. Closca has found in the sudden pandemic an even more urgent utility than air pollution and a broader reach than the big city and more diverse than its buyer persona. The new reality rules, but this mask was prepared. It’s meant to last, it’s washable, foldable (and you keep it in its nice bag), comfortable and suitable for different adult sizes, because it has a velcro clasp.
It is available in white, grey and black, each with five variations. The anti-coronavirus function is achieved with the same filters used in FFP2 masks, homologated for this purpose. The mask comes with six filters. You insert one in the interior compartment and you are ready to go out. Since they don’t rub against anything, they don’t touch your face, nor do you wet them with your breath… they last longer. Obviously, the coronavirus has disrupted the plans of the company. And who hasn’t been affected? Carlos Ferrando says that “we had agreements with major global brands”, which have been put on standby, but the brand still believes in its principles. “In the purpose of the brand we will find the strengths in the face of adversity.” What philosophy is that? The commitment to what is practical and beautiful, no matter what. Carlos Ferrando stands up for the values the company holds since 2013: “We know how to make designs, icons and symbols and make them useful.” In short, everything at Closca focuses on facilitating sustainable urban micro-mobility (leave your home with Closca Helmet); providing solutions for polluted air (breath easy with Closca Mask); and reducing single-use plastics (drink water without throwing away plastic with Closca Bottle and locate water fountains with Closca Water App).
The Closca Mask is on purchase for €20 at closca.com, non-profit, since every unit sold will turn into a donation of five more sanitary masks for the population at risk: health workers and our grandparents, the most vulnerable.
Closca will donate more than 10,000 sanitary masks, starting with the staff of the Alzira hospital (Valencia, Spain) and high-risk groups. They will extend this solidarity initiative to more hospitals and high-risk groups in other countries, thanks to the purchases/donations of their customers, who in the first two days of the launch have already surpassed that number. The motto “Inspire Change” could not be more appropriate today. A change in the production model, in priorities and in aesthetics.