A Fashion Accessory for Our Smog-Filled Dystopian Future: Airinum Urban Breathing Mask

A man and a woman both wearing multicolored face masks with valves


It's come to this: Designer "Urban Breathing Masks" will protect your lungs when you leave the house.

When you hear 'Scandinavian design' and 'limited edition', the first thing to come to mind probably isn't a face mask for filtering out air pollution, but then again, we've only just begun the year 2017, so perhaps it's still early yet. But seriously, when it comes to protecting ourselves from the air we breathe every day (it's so crazy that's a thing now that it's almost painful to type it), we do need useful tools that not only work, but that also don't make us look like cyborgs.

Filtration for Better Health

Walking and riding a bike for transportation, while a healthier alternative from an environmental point of view, might actually take a toll on our personal health, thanks to the the high levels of air pollution in many modern cities, so covering up our mouth and nose with a filtration device can be a wise choice. However, getting past the idea that people will stare at you when wearing an industriral respirator on your face is a rather large barrier to adoption, which is where more fashionable 'wearables' such as the WAIR, and the latest version of the Urban Breathing Mask from Airinum come in.

Originally introduced to the world via a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, Airinum has now launched its first designer collection of face masks, starting with a limited edition model, the M90.

"The Airinum M90 Limited Edition reinvents an iconic Swedish pattern. Originally made for the military, the M90 camouflage was designed to protect the wearer by melting into the surrounds. Unlike the original pattern, the Airinum M90 Limited Edition is not designed to blend in. The Airinum M90 Limited Edition is a Swedish design statement raising awareness about the biggest environmental health risk we face, air pollution." - Airinum

Triple Filter Design

The M90 features "a cutting-edge triple filter technology" that is said to protect its wearers from a variety of factors in the air, ranging from industrial air pollution (such as particulate matter, or PM, ranging from 0.3 to 2.5 micrometers in size) to pollen, bacteria, and other airborne substances. The M90 Urban Breathing Masks from Airinum are available in 4 sizes, and have an adjustable "face-fitting" system so that wearers can be sure the air they're breathing is indeed getting filtered and not leaking in around the edges. In addition to the filtration system, the masks also incorporate two exhalation valves that are said to provide "optimal airflow" when breathing out, and to allow the moist air to be vented to the outside so that the inside of the mask remains dry.

The mask itself is washable, and the filters are designed to be changed every week or two, allowing the wearers to ensure they're always breathing the cleanest air possible. The price on the M90 mask, which comes in either a blue or purple pattern, is $98, and a three-pack of replacement filters costs $20. Airinum also offers its original masks in a variety of colors and sizes (solid color "classic" or patterned "playful"), starting at $65.