Topic: Can antimicrobial fashion protect you from the coronavirus?
With no end to the global pandemic in sight, fashion and sportswear brands have been quickly adapting their lines to include face masks decorated with logos and stylish patterns.
While cloth masks made of traditional materials can help slow the spread of Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization, some labels are going one step further. They’re marketing new accessories, and in some cases entire clothing lines, as having antimicrobial properties — applications that inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, or reduce viral activity. But what does antimicrobial fashion do, and can it provide extra protection during a pandemic?
In recent months, brands including Burberry have introduced masks that, they claim, are protected from microbes and germs. Burberry’s forthcoming beige and blue designs come in the label’s signature check. Under Armour’s multi-layered UA Sportsmask, which is marketed as having antimicrobial properties, sold out in under an hour when it was released this summer.
And Diesel is selling denim that it claims is “virus-fighting.” The Italian brand announced that it will use a technology called ViralOff — which it says “physically halts 99% of any viral activity” — in a number of items in its Spring-Summer 2021 collection. ViralOff works “by interacting with key proteins, inhibiting the virus from attaching to textile fibers,” reads Diesel’s press release.
In the US, brands cannot claim that products will protect wearers from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, without providing sufficient evidence. Therefore, some labels simply allude to extra protection or hygiene, though the small print often reveals that antimicrobial treatments are only intended to inhibit bacterial or viral growth, not protect the user from pathogens. (Washing garments with soap once a day, as recommended by the World Health Organization, or WHO, can also kill bacteria and viruses.) The FDA and CDC did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for information regarding products that have been tested or submitted for formal approval.
Topic Discussed: Can antimicrobial fashion protect you from the coronavirus?