In April, about a month into quarantine, we were catching up with one of our mentors, Dr. Andre West at North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles. That’s when Dr. West mentioned we should come up with a mask that incorporated the Sani touch.
We knew there were already a lot of masks on the market in April, and there are even more now, 5 months after we first started thinking about what would become the Bandhan.
Sani is all about moving confidently at the intersection of fashion and function. So we decided to take a silky fabric and make it into a cool bandana style, which originated in South Asia and the Middle East in the 17th century. We combined it with a filter from NC State University's Wilson College of Textiles and consulted with experts there during development.
That makes it sound quick though and the process was anything but. From figuring out the style to the print to the filtration, this was the most iterative process we have ever undergone. We would meet outdoors with Dr. Andre West and Dr. Jiayin Li to show our next prototype and they’d give us feedback.
Here we are during one of our many outdoor meetings.
Finally we got to a place we were excited about and production was the next hurdle. When we were ready to start manufacturing in May, all of our manufacturing partners in India were still on lockdown. We eventually found a great new partner that met our ethical manufacturing standards in June but from then until now, the pandemic delayed one thing after another, from fabric sourcing to finding the right specialists and more.
Every part of this release has been a labor of love, one we are so excited to share with you in the next email.