Before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, Ghim Li saw a need and opportunity to accelerate our mask production to supply alternatives to surgical masks. With our existing resources and years of experience in the textile industry, we decided to convert part of our production lines to produce reusable masks, as our contribution to the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. These reusable masks are made from comfortable, high cotton content knit fabric, which provide greater comfort for users. With our specialised Research and Development (R&D) team coupled with years of design experience, we have seen good traction and success in this.
In early 2020, a new innovation from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Food Science and Technology was made known to Ghim Li. NTU had developed an organic anti-microbial fluid that when applied on our Ultra Mask’s organic cotton fabrics can provide an effective protection by filtering out dust particles and suppressing bacterial growth. This bio-organic anti-bacterial fluid which is a naturally occurring substance can be applied on medical products as well. We saw the opportunity to partner NTU to improve our product offerings. With advice and the technology from NTU, our R&D team started to explore ways to have this technology applied across different fabrications, which are reusable and sustainable for the environment.
When we saw the opportunity for Ghim Li to produce reusable masks, we partnered NTUC FairPrice to pilot the initiative and test the market. This is especially since we were entering a new industry and market. The support from Government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore has since led to the development of this new product.
We have since been able to manufacture two versions of our three-layer protection face masks that have been nationally distributed in Singapore. We continue to innovate on new designs for our products through technology.
We are very honoured and glad to have had the opportunity to help Singaporeans tide through this challenging period.