“Innovation Is In Our DNA” HEIQ
The Textile magazine|May 2021
Taking the global pandemic in its stride, HeiQ has been extra proactive in developing masks that have not only been labelled user-friendly but are also highly protective. For instance, fabrics treated by the HeiQ MetalliX technology deactivate most of the infectious viruses that cause corona virus in as little as five minutes. In this exclusive interview, Carlo Centonze, Co-Founder and CEO, elaborates about the company’s product portfolio, discharging its social responsibility to make the world a safer and healthier place and its future growth strategies

HeiQ has recently launched HeiQ MetalliQMask. What makes it the most innovative antiviral protective solution?

If there is one thing that makes it innovative, it is the ground-breaking technology behind it. The HeiQ MetalliQMask doesn’t only look metallic; its patented design actually leverages the natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties of copper, which are applied via a high-technology vapour deposition process called HeiQ MetalliX to evenly surround each fibre of the mask. HeiQ MetalliX is ideally suited to provide medical-grade protection for Type IIR masks. It’s a proven ‘killer’, as studies conducted by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia (Doherty Institute) showed that fabrics treated by the HeiQ MetalliX technology deactivated most of the infectious virus that causes coronavirus in as little as five minutes. No less important is that it is actually a visible textile technology. We know that most textile functionalities are done via textile finishing. Their advantage is that they don’t affect the look and hand feel of the textiles, but it takes the brand and seller extra effort to convince the customer. We human are visual animals and therefore seeing is believing.

It’s been almost a year and a half since the coronavirus pandemic affected the world at large. Can you look back on HeiQ’s pandemic related journey?

The last year and a half have indeed been memorable as it has proven to be a transformative and momentous time for HeiQ, characterised by fast growth, in no small part as a result of the pandemic. At the outset of the pandemic, we mobilised a global task force and worked relentlessly to serve the urgent need of protecting people. By deploying what is widely believed as the world’s most effective antiviral technologies, HeiQ Viroblock, for apparel, accessories, home textiles and much more, I trust we have contributed to stemming the spread and in protection. We thought it would take a while until any vaccine or cure would be innovated. But protecting people shouldn’t be the job of only the pharmaceutical industry.

HeiQ as a leader in textile innovation ought to fulfil our responsibility to people. Therefore, just two hours after the Swiss government announced a state of emergency, we launched HeiQ Viroblock. HeiQ is known to use textiles as a medium to deliver all kinds of benefits such as the air-purifying curtain launched with the world’s biggest furnishing retailer in 2019. That technology is called HeiQ Fresh AIR. Now with the pandemic, our mission was to add extra antiviral functionality to textiles and through that we protect billions of people. By the end of last year, nine months into the pandemic, before any jab of vaccine was administered, we had treated at least 1 billion face masks with this technology.

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