We avoided mask printing at first. It seemed:
- to be taking advantage of a bad situation, too mercenary with people dying
- they medically don’t protect you that well
- you have to explain it covers your face and stops y0u from coughing out but not as well for breathing virus in
- some were really expensive
- some were really cheap ass, I would not sell them to anyone as they seem to stop almost nothing
- so many printing difficulties
- it seems a lot to gear up for and it would not last
- at the very start of the pandemic we were being told NOT to use masks, because mostly there were N95 masks and they were needed by hospitals
I WAS WRONG.
Masks are here to stay.
- Only somebody with their head in the sand doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a face covering now.
- Masks are going to be like socks. Only the grubbiest amongst us will wear one more than one day without washing. As sheltering at home ends and we venture out, we will wear them more and need to wash them more often. There are 330 million people in the United States along and a few in other countries perhaps (ya think?) Do the math and if everybody that has a drawer full of socks has one of masks that is literally billions of masks. Yeah, some people will wear disposables only and some crazy people that believe in the Easter Bunny but not viruses (and apparently their “constitutional” right to get sick and infect the rest of us) will not wear them but it is still a boatload of masks.
- This is America not Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister suggested that only white masks should be worn. That isn’t going to fly here as we will see every political statement, every color in the rainbow, every corporate logo, $3000 gold thread masks, etc.
- With the explosion of types of masks, decoration will remain difficult. Some manufacturers already have spent tons of R&D money on making our lives easier on the decoration end. Others will stubbornly make what is easiest for them, and some printers will take the messes they create as an opportunity and figure many resourceful ways to get them decorated.
- We are not going to print all that many shirts while this goes on and all the retail brick and mortar joints scale back and go bankrupt. So you might as well learn to source and print face coverings.
- This is here to stay. Masks are worn in many parts of the world in public places, at least during flu season or as a courtesy when someone is slightly ill. That was not true here, but just like many people now are used to ecommerce that were not previously, our Grandmothers can now order underwear on line and we all now know more than we wanted to about germs spreading and masks.
- This is no longer taking advantage, it is supplying what people need and want. In my town there are fines for going in public without a mask. I have corporate clients sourcing as many as 400K masks that they want decorated.
- It turns out the main reason that we were told not to buy masks was that they are so important for hospitals, particularly the now famous N95 masks. Besides the surgical needs, a large hospital can go through as many as 5 or 6,000 non-surgical masks in a day.
- Reading the financial pages, the market for masks both disposable and re-usable is expected to top 1.8 billion dollars per year by 2027. Masks and therefore decoration of masks is going to be big business and it will not be going away.
- Masks help stop the spread of the Covid 19 virus and we should be part of that effort.
This is part two, in coming days stay tune for articles on the variety of face coverings and the challenges of decorating them.