Four years ago, long before the pandemic made masks ubiquitous, a U.K.-based startup called Masuku began developing a better face mask to help filter out pollution in smoggy cities. Masks on the market weren’t necessarily comfortable or breathable; they also weren’t sustainable. “The idea was to create a mask that’s at the same level as a product as consumer electronics, fashion, and other product categories are,” says Johann Boedecker, CEO of Pentatonic, the design and technology company that cofounded the startup along with model and entrepreneur Natalia Vodianova. “That includes wearability, because only a mask that you’re comfortable wearing will protect you, and breathability, because most masks out there aren’t breathable enough to feel comfortable, especially if you’re taking a brisk walk or doing any kind of physically strenuous activity.” The founders also wanted to create a mask that wouldn’t end up in landfills (or in incinerators, where they could create even more air pollution). Read more at Fast Company.