We all know that paddlers love Merino wool for its natural quick drying and anti-microbial properties. So we took note when we got word that one small brand is taking what it already does best and giving back by joining the #Facemasks4All movement that began in the Czech Republic several weeks ago and is trending widely on social media after the CDC recommended that everyone wear face masks when out in public. A mask maker at its core, and unable to sew masks due to mandated closures at its cut-and-sew factory in Pennsylvania, all NorthxNorth kerchiefs are on sale now with 10 percent of proceeds going to help provide PPE and support for First Responders at DirectRelief.org.
“If you can give, give. If you can sew, sew masks for those in need. If all you can do is wear a mask when out, then wear a mask,” said North x North founder Chad North. “The small needs in front of us help solve the larger needs beyond us. We can’t produce facemasks right now unfortunately, but we can encourage everyone to wear one, and that’s how we beat this thing.”
North x North works with a second-generation, family-owned factory in the U.S. to cut and sew each product, and unfortunately they have been temporarily shut down as part of the non-essential business “shelter in place” rule in Pennsylvania. But they are still shipping on-hand inventory and donating 10 percent of sales to help provide PPE to frontline healthcare workers.
Czech researchers are showing that when worn by an infected person, even a homemade mask can trap up to 100 percent of potentially infected microdroplets, i.e. masks fundamentally prevent the transmission from you to others. People are most contagious before they start showing symptoms (or they may not show any symptoms at all); therefore, it’s everyone’s duty to wear a mask to protect themselves from infecting others on top of social distancing and preventative measures.
Continued North: “Everyone in the outdoor industry can and should be wearing a mask when out in public. We all have a buff, bandana, or something to wear. A million masks ain’t worth a damn if no one is wearing them.”
N x N Products that are being well utilized for face coverings during this global pandemic include the 25-by-25 inch Merino Wool Handkerchief ($35); and the Merino Wool Hooded Neck Gaiter ($30). The flagship 42-by-42 inch Merino Wool Kerchief can also be worn as a mask in town, on the trail, in camp, and along the open road in every season and climate. Other popular uses include applications such as headwear, neckwear, apparel, bag or carrier, first aid, cordage, insulation, protection from sun, wind, insects, and fire. The full-sized kerchief is extremely popular with hikers, travelers, and outdoor adventurers in the U.S. and globally. All three products are also available in a double-weight version.
All North x North products are crafted from certified mulesing-free Australian Merino wool. Products are also sustainably dyed using 40 percent less water than conventional fabric dyeing. Merino wool has proven itself as one of the best performing renewable fabrics of all time, and its 18.5-micron superfine fiber means it is not scratchy against the skin.
Chad North has been working in the outdoor industry as a product and apparel designer since 2012. An avid backpacker, motorcyclist and outdoorsman he set out to “build a better buff” — and realizing that the kerchief, worn by millions globally, was one of the oldest apparel accessories known to man, he decided to improve upon it by making one out of premium Merino wool. North x North is now the only brand producing a 100-percent merino wool kerchief. Combined with the insulating, naturally antimicrobial, regulating and regenerative powers of merino wool, North x North has quietly reinvented one of the most practical and purposeful apparel accessories in the world.
The brand will also be announcing its Climate Neutral status and Plastic Neutral status later this month. Free returns and a lifetime guarantee are included with each product purchase.