The Interview: Trevor George, Founder and CEO, MaskClub
Last week, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps announced that non-medical face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in England from 15th June 2020. This is the latest measure following a series of precautions recommended to limit the spread of Coronavirus, as well as washing our hands with soap and using hand sanitisers.
There has been much debate over whether wearing a face mask is effective and the British government has made tentative comments in relations to wearing face masks in public spaces. However, last week's announcement that it's now mandatory to wear a mask on public transport marked a significant change.
With new guidelines recommending mask covering in public places and no Covid-19 vaccine available yet, masks and face coverings may very well become an every day essential for consumers across the globe.
Many fashion retailers have been quick to make masks part of their current offerings, this includes the likes of Asos, Mango, Little Mistress and Off-White amongst others.
Last week, The MaskClub established solely on the basis to provide protective facial wear launches this week in UK and Europe after the US launch saw 100,000 masks donated to first responders and 1 million visitors to the site within the first four weeks.
The mask retailer is a new company from Trevco, one of the top licensees in the world is producing double-ply masks, hand-printed, hand made and hand-sewn in Europe. Trevco is known as one of the largest e-commerce players for licensed merchandise, thanks to a unique print-on-demand apparel & accessories technology.
Sourcing a new regional location, the brand has added to it’s existing USA production to urgently reach a European audience, starting with the United Kingdom. Founder and CEO of MaskClub, Trevor George tell us more:
Could you tell us a little bit about you background?
I’ve been in the licensing & e-commerce space all my life. I guess, if you think about the world today, I was early when I started adopting e-commerce back in 2006 for licensed merchandise. Now, e-commerce for licensed brands are more important than ever. I’ve focused my career on figuring out how to enable global brands like Warner Bros to find their fan wherever they shop and manufacturer the product.
MaskClub launched in the USA in April, what was the initial response?
The response was truly humbling. The day after we launched we went viral. Over 1 million people visited the site in 4 weeks. Thanks to the support, we’ve been able to donate 100,000 face masks to first responders here in the USA. We hope to do the same with NHS Charities Together, where 10% of sales will go to in the UK.
What is your brand DNA and USP?
MaskClub’s mission is to help the world fight COVID19 on the front lines by pairing globally beloved brands to their fans. It is our mission that for everything we make or sell, something must be given to those on the front lines.
How does the subscription service work?
Consumers can sign up for 9.99 GBP/month, and every month, choose a design of their choice!
What is your favourite mask from the collection currently available?
Right now, I like anything from our Father’s Day collection, because I am a father!
There has been an influx of labels and manufacturers rushing to produce masks for healthcare workers and the general public. How does your brand differentiate from other labels producing masks?
We are the only destination, live today, with 1000s of licensed design choices. Want a design with your favorite character or superhero? We are the only place with availability today.
Wearing face masks became widespread and common in certain parts of Asia following the SARS outbreak in 2003. However, consumers in western countries, have been reluctant to follow suit, do you think this will change?
I do. Certainly over the next 18 months until there is a vaccine. Even when there is a vaccine I think the world now thinks of things as simple as Influenza, much differently. Think about it. 3 years from now, surely people will wear masks in public transport or airports or airplanes. We are changed forever.
Do you think masks will become a permanent fashion trend?
Yes I do, but with its peak over the next 18 months.
What is the future for MaskClub?
We are working on expanding to the rest of the EU, but before we can do that, it is important for us to align with charities like NHS Charities Together in each country. Wherever we sell a mask, we will donate proceeds to front line workers in that country. We are working on finding those charities!