COVID19 Personal ‘Space’ Protective Technology

You may have seen the image of a man in a strange body contraption flowing through Social Media as a popular meme. Well these are actually images created in 2009 of Nathan Destro, a University of Witwatersrand Digital Arts postgraduate student, as he wondered the streets of Braamforntein, Johannesburg, to test out his contraption called the ‘Personal Space Protector’. The images from this experiment made their way in pop culture as a meme for people who wish for personal space.

As we sit through a unpredictable period in History with the COVID19 pandemic, we find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being a major talking point for people across the world. We look at these images of Destro and wonder if we perhaps laughed too hard at his contraption 11 years ago instead of seeing a world where this design is something that would be needed to protect ourselves.

It is safe to say that we do not expect everyone to be walking around with DIY plastic-tube rings any time soon. However, as countries across the world reopen their economies and lessen restrictions, the possibility of having personal space protective equipment becomes more viable. How do companies invest in their safety of their employees? How do individuals make sure that they are safe when leaving home with only a 3x layer cotton mask?

Images by Christo Doherty

These questions have already been answered by, Candaian company, Proxxie. This safety technology company has recently released wearable tech to help solve the issue of employee safety together with social distancing. The Halo, is a smart wrist device that notifies it’s wearer that another employee is within 2 meters of them in order to help you maintain healthy social distancing. The bands also track your movement and is able to tell who you have come into close contact with, helping employers track who might have come in contact with a positive COVID19 case.

Images by Proxxie

“The need to maintain social distancing is critical to reducing transmission of COVID-19. Our existing customers in construction, manufacturing and utilities have essential workers in the field and requested this product. We hear that there may be broader applications potentially in retail, warehousing and healthcare”, said Proxxi CEO, Campbell Macdonald.

Unfortunately, we don’t foresee this type of wearable smart devices being rolled out to every single industry or company. It is most likely will never reach the mass population. What excites us about it, is the endless possibilities that this pandemic brings for innovation, technology and business. Perhaps a DIY Personal Space Protector together with your mask and gloves will have to do for now.

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Luxury Face masks in South Africa

Luxury Face masks in South Africa

Being in lockdown in South Africa due to the COVID19 pandemic, we have seen a massive incline of face mask production. Everyone with a sewing machine has been making a face mask and we have seen even more DIY masks being sported on people’s faces. There are some fashion brands that have also begun to make face masks. The purpose is to create face masks that saves lives but to make it fashion at the same time. We have listed a few brands that you might like.

  1. RichFactory

RichFactory is a Johannesburg based fashion house that is producing face masks in African Print in different sizes, as well as masks for Children.

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My mum (the girls Ouma) was in JHB locked down with us and she was really concerned about the girls safety and freedom while playing so she spent some time online and in YouTube looking for innovative ways for to keep the girls safe while giving then a little freedom especially for our morning walks. So after many samples and different shields options (trust me we’ve gone through like 5 different types to find a shield that works) we’ve produced these shields and bucket hats with removable plastic shields for kids. Both shields & bucket hats are available online and today we ship off about 100 units to Botswana (I’ll share the distributors details in Bots once they are ready) . We’ve got plain colours for school as well like Navy, black, red, maroon and khaki and you can place orders for mass production too. For mass orders only please contact and for personal shopping you can do so online. Love and light. Rina, Ouma and the girls… who by the way, are wondering if they are famous after all the pics I took of them. “Am I a famous model now aunty!”

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  1. Tshepo Jeans

Tshepo Jeans is a luxury denim brand that has started to create stylish Face masks that are fresh, clean and definitely denim with denim stud accents.

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Mandatory ? #tshepo #denim #covid

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  1. Inga Atelier

Inga Atelier mask made from super leather, easy to breathe and reusable. Their high-end leather bags are more expensive than their mask so thankfully you won’t have to pay too much to walk around in style with their face masks.

Inga Atelier mask made from super leather, easy to breathe and reusable, to order email or visit Hydepark corner. R199 including delivery

— INGA GUBEKA (@ingagubeka) May 10, 2020

  1. Loin Cloth & Ashes

Loin Cloth & Ashes is an African based fashion and lifestyle brand for individuals who seek a modern, functional and relevant design with a neo-African point of view. Their mask’s have boomed as their pattern is unusual and there aren’t many masks that look like this.

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  1. Akese Stylelines

Now this designed is not South African but we wanted to throw her into this list as we love her take on fashion. We have not seen facemasks like this anywhere.

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?We are loving seeing Queens all over IG recreating our #akesepowermask look in their own way! Yassssssssss… ??? #powertothequeens . Our design is trending and I must confess I'm super excited to see our Queens owning their crowns. I can't wait to see how you style your pieces. . Now you can have it all in one! 2 vibrant prints in 1 mask. You can do whatever you like. Enjoy our New REVERSIBLE #fatiamaskset. Washable. Reusable. Reliable. REVERSIBLE! . . #akesestylelines #trends #trending #handmade #oneofakind #womenswear #bosschic #africanprintclothing #africanprintpants #chicagofashion #chicagodesigner #statementpieces #oneofakindpieces #womenswear

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