Sussex IM Partners with Breathewire, 4ocean to Develop Sustainable Mask Product

Custom injection molder Sussex IM, Sussex, Wisconsin – in partnership with 4ocean, Boca Raton, Florida, a certified B corporation and public benefit corporation focused on ending the ocean plastic crisis and Breathewire, a newly formed LLC in Mequon, Wisconsin – has introduced the development of a new, fully sustainable plastic face mask support frame that improves breathability.

Brian Davis, co-CEO of Breathewire, stated that the mission of Breathewire is to improve people’s lives, and this product delivers a sustainable solution that makes mask-wearing more comfortable. The insert is lightweight and specifically designed to minimize contact with the face while connecting very tightly to the mask – unique in the mask frame market.

Breathewire identified Sussex IM as an ideal partner due to the company’s high-end injection molding capabilities, interest in entrepreneurial projects and reputation for working with recycled plastics.

Corey Jacak, sales engineer at Sussex IM, stated that Sussex IM’s commitment to growing production capability in recycled resins is a reflection of the company’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint. Many injection molders have the capability, but few the willingness to commit resources to assist in developing the concept to a production-ready part.

With expertise in utilizing recycled plastic and plastic alternatives, Sussex IM’s experience and secondary services helped make this product a reality.

Jacak explained that using post-consumer recycled resins for this product fits the company’s programs to reduce waste materials. Sussex IM’s expertise in processing recycled resins assisted Breathewire in establishing design, tooling and processing standards to accept the inherent variability in material properties of recycled materials. In addition to best-in-class injection molding, Sussex also is growing its third-party logistics (3PL) and fulfillment capabilities, which simplified Breathewire’s go-to-market strategy.

After finalizing and qualifying the design and material requirements based on virgin resins, Sussex IM and Breathewire began the search for recycled plastics, which caught the eye of 4ocean.

Alex Schulze, co-founder and CEO of 4ocean, stated that 4ocean is selective about who it partners with because it is important that the partner’s mission and goals align with those at 4ocean. Breathewire offered an opportunity to make a useful product from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, including 50% recovered 4ocean Plastic. Right now, everybody is wearing masks, and this product benefits everyone.

The 4ocean Facemask Support Frame is available online in adult and youth sizes. With every 4ocean product purchased, 4ocean will pull one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines.

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