Who needs to wear the ReTHINK Face Mask? Absolutely everyone.

Especially those on the frontlines

Absolutely everyone. Especially those on the frontlines. Community Health Workers (CHWs) form an important part of the healthcare systems in most countries. Due to the nature of community health work and the associated risks of infection, the UNICEF/WHO/IFRC guidance for community care recommends PPE that includes medical masks for CHWs.

To give an idea of the numbers involved, they estimate that the annual PPE requirement for 916,000 active CHWs from 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa is 213 million medical masks*, or roughly 232 masks per CHW per year. The single-use nature of standard medical face masks leads to many problems in general, but these are exacerbated in the context of CHWs and the Covid-19 pandemic.

ReTHINK protection to alleviate the impact
on society and the world

The global Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world and will continue to do so if we don’t change our ways immediately. We need to utilize solutions that are both affordable and sustainable. The ReTHINK Face Mask is such a solution, with clear economic benefits, but more importantly also long-term environmental and social benefits that cannot be overlooked.

Not all medical face masks are equal.
Can you tell the difference?

Despite the WHO guidelines that dictate the performance characteristics of medical masks and testing methods, many of the blue medical masks supplied during the pandemic had to be seized by authorities due to its questionable quality and origins. Most medical masks look similar, and it’s impossible to distinguish high-quality masks from cheap imitations without having their filtration efficiency tested. Substandard masks do not have the required filtration efficiency and place CHWs and their patients at risk of infection.

…As a result, huge quantities of masks need to be sourced
and their sheer number presents challenges:


Multiple suppliers need to be identified and each one vetted to ensure that they have
the necessary quality management systems in place.


The surge in global demand for masks with the onset of the pandemic led to tens of thousands of new mask manufacturers popping up all over the world¹, but tens of millions of masks were subsequently seized by authorities for being substandard.


Prices of masks have become very unpredictable. During the early months of the pandemic, prices for masks and other PPE saw staggering increases of up to 1000%². We continue to see volatility in pricing due to the second wave of infections already reported. 


Shipping and distribution of hundreds of millions of pieces of PPE to hundreds of thousands of CHWs around the world is a massive logistical challenge. As a result CHWs are often forced to work without the necessary PPE. Single-use masks cannot be effectively disinfected* with water or alcohol as this reduces the charge on the fibers in the filter which reduces their filter efficiency.

In either case, the risk of infection for the CHWs and their patients is substantially increased.


Even when CHWs do get sufficient quantities of high-quality medical masks, the single-use plastic nature of these masks leads to various environmental problems:

  • It is estimated that 129 billion³ single-use face masks are being used per month in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic*. This mind-boggling volume of single-use masks poses an extraordinary risk to the environment.

  • Used PPE should be handled as infectious waste, but CHWs frequently work in rural areas without the established systems for handling infectious waste. This poses contamination risks for waste handlers and waste pickers who make a living sorting through waste for recyclables.


In response to the pandemic, and contemplating global shortages in PPE, the Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company in Cape Town (South Africa), improved the design of the traditional medical mask, in order to develop a reusable and more sustainable alternative.


Compared to Type I masks?2020-11-23T12:28:07-05:00

The filter is equivalent to a Type I mask and is suitable for use in primary care settings where basic PPE protection of health workers and other social and relief workers is required. Like other Type I medical masks, these masks are not suitable for aerosol-generating procedures).

ReTHINK and ReCONSIDER your options.
We trust you will make the ReSPONSIBLE choice.


Enjoy an average saving of 22% compared to single-use medical face masks.
Use the calculator to see how much you can save per month!

Calculate myour SAVINGS


“The test results show that the Nano Air Mask performs better than the cloth masks tested and as well as an N95 mask in terms of filtration of aerosolized droplets but is much lighter and more comfortable to wear.”

Dr. Manhar Dhanak

Chair of the Engineering Department at Florida Atlantic University

The Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company develops products at the cutting-edge of nanoscience and technology. The ability to innovate and adjust in a rapidly changing environment is key to producing items that can improve our realities on all levels of life.

Our patented technology, in conjunction with ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 compliant development and manufacturing systems allows us to prove that innovation and good design has the power to change the world.

We have also managed to collect some accolades along the way and have been featured in the Time 100 Most Innovative List.

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We are here to help you ReTHINK your face mask!

CALL NOW: +1 (551) 282 1199

³Joana C. Prata, Ana L.P. Silva, Tony R. Walker, Armando C. Duarte, and Teresa Rocha-Santos. “COVID-19 Pandemic Repercussions on the Use and Management of Plastics.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54, 13, 7760-7765. 

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