Game changer

Community COVID-19 Featured Shine On

WearWell Garments distributing new face masks with eye on manufacturing locally

Five months into the new normal of living with the threat of COVID-19, a local company is working on a virtual game changer.

WearWell Garments Limited in Stellarton is distributing RealGuard personal protective face masks, protected by Livinguard technology, that are touted as being scientifically proven to destroy 99.99 per cent of SARS-CoV-2. RealGuard, owned by Halifax-based Steele Group, has the Canadian rights to the Livinguard fabrics and production technology.

Peter Steele of Steele Group, CEO and executive chairman of RealGuard Canada, is partnering with WearWell to distribute the masks. The masks are currently being made in Portugal and Italy and WearWell is distributing them for now, with an eye on being the Canadian manufacturer in the near future.

“I am very pleased to be working with Peter and his team and feel the synergies the WearWell team will bring to the process will add great value,” says WearWell president Stirling MacLean. “I really see these masks as an opportunity for people to invest in their personal health and the health of their employees.”

MacLean believes so strongly in the product that he purchased masks for all of his staff — approximately 100 people.

“These were provided at no cost to the employees and is a real show of faith and he did it because he wants to keep his employees safe,” lauds Cynthia Outred, sales director at WearWell.

She points out that the masks can now be purchased by the public through their Factory Outlet location which is located on North Foord Street near the roundabout. Companies looking to make a bulk purchase for employees can contact WearWell’s head office on Acadia Avenue.

The local operation is a prime example of the many businesses that have had to pivot in the wake of the worldwide pandemic. They have had to switch up their usual production of workwear and uniforms to include masks, protective gowns for long-term care facilities as well as gowns for Stanfield’s in Truro for its federal government contract.

Fewer staff members and the introduction of new products all while fulfilling orders for current customers have been a real challenge for the local company but WearWell is excited at the prospect of manufacturing these products, Outred says.

“Our customers have all been fantastic. Everyone knows that this is a global crisis.”

According to the company’s website, the principle underlying RealGuard’s technology is the polycationic (charged) surface that attracts, holds and inactivates microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and several types of fungi. The “positively” charged material acts as a magnet and is more powerful than the “negative” charge of the microbes. The microbes adhere to the fabric and disintegrate, rendering them harmless.

“But there is no added chemical in the masks and therefore no leaching and no toxic risk for the wearer or the environment as is the case with silver, copper or other chemical additives.”

The Livinguard fabric used to manufacture the masks is proven to destroy COVID-19 as per ISO 18184 protocol testing conducted at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The masks have been evaluated and authorized for import by Health Canada by virtue of a Medical Device Establishment License.

Outred notes, “We’ve been hearing a huge kickback about disposable masks. Because they are a single-use item, people are dropping them outside of their cars and littering with them. Plus, you have to wonder what our landfills are going to look like.”

Re-usable masks are great, she says, particularly now that they are mandatory in most indoor spaces in Nova Scotia. “The reason why these ones are even better is because not only are they reusable, but they actively destroy the virus and only have to be washed once a week.”

Outred says WearWell is “actively working on” producing the masks. The exact timeline is still up in the air “but we’ve started the process and are very excited to move to the next phase of this project.”

For information on the masks and their technology visit or call WearWell at 800-565-1188.

WearWell Garments employees Andy Cronkite and Cynthia Outred review the information about the new face masks the local company is carrying. (Jardine photo)