People grumbled about the Airism face coverings, and it looks like Uniqlo listened.

With masks being as important as shirts and pants during the coronavirus pandemic, it was only a matter of time until Uniqlo, Japan’s favorite affordable clothing brand for two decades and counting, got into the mask-making business. When that day came in June, shoppers quickly bought up the Yamaguchi-based apparel company’s first mask shipments, but some customers ended up less than perfectly pleased.

Uniqlo’s masks are part of its Airism line, which also includes inner and underwear made of a cool, lightweight material. However, the three-layer construction of Uniqlo’s Airism masks meant that while they were comfortable when you first slipped them on, they soon became hot and unpleasant to wear.

So Uniqlo’s designers have gone back to the drawing board and created an updated version that seeks to address that problem. The new masks are still part of the Airism line and continue the three-layer format, with a virus-blocking filter in the middle. The inner and outer layers, though, are now made out of a mesh in order to help you breathe more easily and keep your face cool while still keeping you safe.

▼ The new masks’ construction

While Uniqlo still doesn’t offer its masks in the same wide spectrum of hues as its other items, it has at least expanded the selection to a second color, with gray masks now an option alongside white ones.

The new masks, which come in a three-pack for 990 yen (US$9), are on sale now through Uniqlo’s online shop here and will start showing up in brick-and-mortar stores between August 22 and 24, depending on exact location. Considering how high the initial demand was for the first Airism masks these are likely to sell out quickly too, and should they be all gone by the time you get to the store, we do at least have an idea about how to make your own (though it will cost you a little dignity).

Source, images: Uniqlo
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