The president of a Manitoba consulting firm wants to bring a line of germ-killing apparel made on the other side of the globe to Steinbach store shelves.
Anna Mondor of WOA Consulting Group Ltd. is the first in Manitoba, and one of the first in Canada, to import and distribute a line of antimicrobial clothing and accessories from Aviro, a New Zealand-based company.
Mondor began selling Aviro face masks, gloves, and tops online last week after securing a Class 1 Medical Device Establishment Licence from Health Canada.
On Monday, she visited Steinbach to interest local retailers in stocking the clothing.
WOA Consulting has offices in Winnipeg and Beausejour. During the pandemic, the firm has sourced personal protective equipment for the public and private sector.
Forced to quarantine earlier in the pandemic, Mondor said she began searching online for antimicrobial clothing. She stumbled across Aviro products for sale on a European website.
“I called them immediately,” she said, and offered to be Aviro’s first Canadian distributor.
Six weeks later, the first box of product arrived.
Aviro produces unisex masks and gloves, as well as men’s and women’s tops, in a variety of sizes, styles, and colours. Mondor said a children’s line is also in the works.
Aviro face masks are selling for $40, and touchscreen gloves for $55, in her company’s online store. Shirts range from $62 to $85.
Aviro clothing is made from a breathable, odour-resistant synthetic material and marketed to athletes, shoppers, airline travellers, and frontline service workers.
Mondor said the company’s founder was motivated to find a solution to the problem of germs hitchhiking on clothing.
During the manufacturing process, Aviro applies a Swiss textile coating designed to trap and break down a pathogen’s protective outer membrane.
According to Aviro, independent tests found the coating killed bacteria and viruses, including influenza and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
The coating begins to decline in effectiveness after about 15 washes. Mondor said it still provides partial protection long after that.
A big believer in the products, she wore an Aviro shirt, gloves, and face mask to an interview with The Carillon.
“With the gloves on, you can shake hands,” she said. “You don’t spread germs and you have a chance to go back to normal.”