Manuel "MannyJStyle" Jackson is one of those multihyphenates who's always dreaming up the next best thing. He's the founder and CEO of fashion line Threadhaus, the founder of men's styling house The Gents Closet, a program coordinator for an agency that helps young adults with autism, and, most importantly, a dad. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he's decided to reinvent PPE (personal protective equipment) with the Plasqmasq.
As it became clear that the coronavirus was disproportionately affecting Black Americans, coupled with the glaring racial disparity in the American healthcare system, Jackson found he could no longer sit on the sidelines. Under the umbrella of the Threadhaus label, Jackson and his team devised a crowdfunding campaign to better protect everyday people from the virus and to give back to the fearless Black Americans on the frontlines in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Threadhaus' new Plasqmasq was designed from scratch to solve the common ailments of hospital-provided and homemade masks alike. The multi-layered respirator mask actually purifies the air you breathe, and features replaceable filters that are dishwasher safe, as well as an adjustable draw-cord that prevents the mask from sagging or gaping. The cord connects to a silicone backing, which should sit comfortably on customers' faces without fogging up sunglasses or causing the typical discomfort of other poorly made masks.
Every element of the Plasqmasq is intended to increase Angelenos' personal safety, and purportedly protects wearers from ages 9 through 99 against 99% of airborne pathogens. Plus, when you inevitably need to have a bite to eat outdoors or take a sip of water on your morning jog, you can remove the mask's outer shell without removing the entire mask — ensuring a safer environment for both you and any surrounding individuals.
You can purchase a Plasqmasq or a variety of other combination offers on Threadhaus' Indiegogo page. One mask with 30 filters will run you $40, while a mask, filters, and a stylish cover for a little self-expression costs $50. If you're hoping to outfit an entire workforce or office, you can also purchase 100 masks, 6,000 filters, and 120 covers for $4,750. Alternatively, if you're on a tight budget and still want to get involved, you can make a $10 donation.
Once you've purchased your very own Plasqmasq (or if you simply want to help reduce the African-American mortality rate due to COVID-19), you can fill out this form to let Threadhaus know of any particular Black healthcare workers or organizations you'd like to support.
We may be in an impossible situation, but Jackson is making tangible change possible.
Learn more about Threadhaus and the Plasqmasq here.