In an age of pandemic, people worldwide have been focusing more and more on ways to stay healthy. Masks, hand sanitizer, and face shields seem to be gaining attention as social distancing and work-from-home become the new norm. Throughout all of this, the promotional products industry has been given the opportunity to help businesses who are struggling to stay open, as well as essential businesses. We’re able to assist with continued marketing while still helping flatten the curve.
Our industry has seen a ton of new products – and old products revived. The next hot item: antiviral apparel.
Artistic Denim Mills, a Pakistan-based denim fabrics company, is rolling out denim products that have been treated with HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 technology. This technology has been reported to “[make] treated textiles resistant against the degradation by microorganisms and inhibits the growth of bacterial odors.” Through this, it should ideally protect the wearer from COVID-19. The technology has been proven to be 99.99% effective for 30 minutes against SARS-CoV-2. However, U.S. regulations aren’t allowing it to be called antiviral just yet.
Other companies are also jumping on the antiviral train. A healthcare apparel and footwear company called Careismatic Brands has begun testing for producing scrubs, masks, gowns, and lab coats. Careismatic Brands, which manufactures Dickies and Cherokee brands, is looking to utilize PROTX-2 AV, an antiviral chemical developed by Intelligent Fabric Technologies North America. Health experts, though, are saying that antiviral clothing isn’t really necessary. While he virus can theoretically live on your clothing, antiviral apparel is unlikely to do anything to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Once the worst is over, maybe we can go back to living the lives that we once knew. Then again, it’s also very possible that our world has permanently changed in some manners. People will likely be more cautious than ever before, at least for quite a while. And there will always be those who are looking to be protected in whatever ways possible. Viruses are never going away and perhaps these antiviral pieces will be beneficial in preventing other illnesses. Perhaps this makes the future seem bleak – these signs of a new normal – but, as with any other industry, necessity is the mother of invention.