St Andrews students providing cost-price face masks

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Two University of St Andrews students have set up an operation to provide the public with face masks at zero mark up to eliminate predatory price-gouging.

Cogan Wade and Frederik Filz von Reiterdank were appalled on seeing the mark up of face masks when they tried to source them for their volunteering charity, StudentsAgainstCorona. They decided to use their contacts in China and Hong Kong and set up Mask Bros, supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) at virtually cost price.

Cogan, who was the first student at St Andrews to contract Covid-19, said: “We found out how hard it is to find a reliable supplier for smaller orders of PPE. And the ones that we could find charged us extortionate prices. One shop was offering them at £1.80 per mask while we now purchase the exact same ones for 29 pence.

“We established relationships with several European import and export companies that connected us with reliable PPE suppliers. We figured that more people must be struggling to acquire masks so they can safeguard themselves, their families, friends and customers. With the Scottish and UK governments now advising the wearing of face masks in enclosed spaces, it shouldn’t be so hard for the public to find quality protection at an affordable price.”

Mask Bros supply PPE at cost price plus a small flat fee to their shipping charge to maintain their website, cover the cost of packing materials, pay for inspections, compensate staff, and scale to offer more products at lower prices.

All products supplied by Mask Bros are made specifically for non-medical public use (EN149 standard) to ensure that frontline health workers are not deprived of vital medical equipment.

Picture: Cogan Wade (left) and Frederik Filz von Reiterdank (right) with their first shipment of 26,000 3-ply masks

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter

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