This will officially launch Lanaco personal protective equipment masks, using its organic/hybrid Helix Filter Media, which is based on the science of DNA genetics from specially selected sheep flocks bred in New Zealand to produce a truly unique and high performing natural protein fibre optimised for applications in healthcare, industry, appliances, ventilation and anti-pollution.


The technology used by Lanaco is an innovative and high-value use of wool, a process that is demonstrating how the New Zealand Wool Strategy can be put into practice.


Lanaco masks are New Zealand’s first AS/NZS 1716 P2 respirators – equivalent to the N95 standard.


Lanaco Founder and its Director of Sales and Marketing, Nick Davenport, says not all face masks are created equal and the wool filter in Lanaco’s product puts it head and shoulders above the rest. Natural wool fibre has amazing capabilities which synthetics cannot match. Wool is the world’s most positively-charged fibre, which acts like a magnet capturing a whole range of airborne particulates. Independent tests by United States based Nelson labs found that the Helix Filter provides protection against biological aerosols under a test required for surgical masks; confirmed its microbial cleanliness as a medical mask; and that the whole mask, including the filter, is non-cytotoxic.


As well as a high level of material capture (including viral particles and air pollutants), the face masks have low breathing resistance. Many face masks on the market are difficult to breathe naturally through, so people aren’t comfortable when wearing them. Lanaco masks are two to three times easier to breathe through than other products, so they are easier to wear for extended periods.


Most importantly, these masks are homegrown – the wool is grown in Wanaka, the filters and masks are made in Auckland – the supply chain is based here to ensure that New Zealanders can access effective and efficient protective masks as and when needed.