AFI pivots into funky face masks for everyday Aussies

AFI Branding, a specialist producer of printed textile signage, has joined the ranks of Australian manufacturers to move into new areas to answer critical community demands brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

When the virus first began to spread in March, AFI Branding was swift to respond by designing and installing perspex counter shields in pharmacies and retail outlets.

And now it has added to its COVID-19 response by launching a vibrant range of nine different face masks which are designed to provide everyday Australians with a little more protection against the virus and free up critical supplies of medical masks for frontline health workers.

The masks come in nine different varieties and are sold in packs of four via and are made from a high grade, warp knit 200gsm polyester fabric and are machine washable.

They can also be branded specifically to a client’s needs.

They dye sublimated printed masks are cut on AFI’s grand format cutter and sewn by the company’s own in-house stitch operators at the company’s production headquarters in Victoria’s Carrum Downs.

AFI Branding managing director Glenn Watson said the initiative was launched on Monday 20 April and so far the response has been really positive with a steady flow of orders coming in.

“Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve been working with our clients and partners to see how we can adapt our offering. In recent weeks, we’ve designed and installed perspex counter screens in pharmacies and retail and rolled-out a range of hand sanitising units,” Watson told Sprinter.

“At the core of what we do at AFI is fabric printing so it seemed a natural solution to start creating face masks. We had a sewing team with time on their hands so we thought, why not?  It’s been a fun and positive process coming up with the designs and seeing our team come together.

“It’s new territory for all of us – from us making the masks through to Australians wearing them. We wanted to offer some fun, bright and budget friendly designs for those people that do want to wear them when heading out.”

Last year AFI Branding launched a fabric take-back sustainability initiative in partnership with fashion technology platform and marketplace for recycled textiles company, BlockTexx.

The scheme allows for all fabric printed by AFI Branding to be directly returned for recycling to its headquarters in Carrum Downs where it is sorted and separated and provided to BlockTexx for repurposing within Australia.

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