THE CLEVER CREW BEHIND THE WIPEOUT PISTE MAP ON A LENS CLOTH HAVE CHANNELED THEIR CREATIVITY INTO MAKING A WHOLE NEW RANGE OF PRODUCTS – FUNKY AND FUN FACE MASKS FOR SKIERS.
Adapting to the ‘new world’ is imperative in these turbulent Covid-19 times and Wipeout’s new range of face coverings will make sure you do it in style! We’re unsurprisingly keen on their new ‘Born To Ski’ microfibre cooling face mask (RRP £5.99) that injects a whopping dollop of ski personality into this year’s must-have (literally) accessory.
Director of Wipeout Julie Slaughter explains the story so far…
“It was Friday the 13th of March 2020 and I was being propelled up the mountain in one of the world’s largest cable cars, sharing the steamy air with 200 skiers crammed in goggle to goggle. I was having a great time but the inappropriate proximity of us all in this enclosed space did occur to me at the time. After all, Covid-19 was already making a significant its impact around the world. Italy had already gone into ‘lock-down’, yet here we were, ‘making turns while the sun shined’.
The French Government soon turned out the lights. By Sunday the 15th of March all of France’s ski resorts were to be closed. By Monday, all schools in France were closed. Then at midday on Tuesday 17th March, the portcullis really dropped and all exercise was restricted to within 1km from the house.
My usual work of dealing in Wipeout Microfibre Piste Maps was quickly replaced by home schooling (in French) and the fresh re-stock of products just arrived for the latter half of the season, were now ‘on the shelf’.
A few weeks into lockdown however, there was a drive by the community to provide a face mask free of charge for everyone and my local area was calling out for volunteers. So I virtually stuck my hand up, and before I knew it I embarked on a nightly ritual of mask making. (For the record I made 100 in total, a small contribution to the 16,000 which were locally made.)
As I have a lot of Wipeout products at home, including goggle bags and Wipeout microfibre piste maps, I decided to use these to make my masks. I also played with using sheets, pillow cases and (on request) one of my friend’s favourite t-shirts! It was time consuming, but fun and I soon learnt that the demand was definitely there. I decided that perhaps Wipeout should diversify, and with our strong contacts in materials and manufacturing, we could make some high quality reusable masks.
As I continued to learn what worked and what didn’t and what complied with international guidelines, I decided to add a mask which uses microfibre cooling fabric into my main order, as well as requesting all masks included soft ear loops and a nose wire. As a wearer of glasses, I know the problems that come with wearing a mask and glasses together. I leafed through lots of technical documents, looking at the strict fabric and manufacturing guidelines, and after some decisions on design, an order was placed.
So now the Wipeout masks have arrived and (even if I say so myself), they look great! Like most people I was very self-conscious when first wearing a mask, but the more I wear one the more it becomes normal. Now it is part of my essential list for leaving the house; keys, phone, wallet and face mask.
So that has been Wipeout’s ‘making masks’ journey so far, but in reality, this is only the beginning!
Little did I know that a mere four months after standing in that cable car, wishing we were all wearing a mask, that Wipeout would now be putting its energy into providing face masks that are comfortable and that people are happy to wear – most likely well into the next ski season. Now let me see if I have one which matches my ski jacket…”
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