BEGINNING OF THE STATE OF ALARM
The state of alarm has begun in Spain and we are starting to get scared of the very dangerous situation we are seeing. Many companies have stopped working, they have frozen their operations and are starting to make ERTES.
This situation is affecting us a lot as well. We were in a financing round where only the last steps were missing to cover all the capital and closing deals with powerful brands worldwide, and today we do not know what to do to find revenue to keep us active ...
In addition, our founder and CEO Carlos Ferrando, has confessed to us that he feels unable to move the company forward...
"LET'S INSPIRE CHANGE"
Carlos has talked to other entrepreneurs who are in the same situation and has realized that he can not stand idly by and do nothing, so he has come up with the solution; Closca is a company created to inspire change so we will make masks for society and we will turn them into a symbol of what we are living, a symbol to stop thinking as an individual and start thinking as a collective with a single goal, to change the planet we live in.
For this reason, we have come up with a very cool idea, to donate 5 masks for each purchase of a Closca Mask, so we can help other groups at risk ... What a great idea, eh?
Carlos has already started designing the mask. He wants it to be comfortable and practical.
COME ON TEAM, WE'LL GET OUT OF THIS ONE!
"We have the best team Closca has ever had and we will continue to do what we do best - symbols of social change".
With these words Carlos explained to the rest of the team how this drama and crisis has behind it a great opportunity for social change. We have spent hundreds of years without listening to the planet, without realizing that our actions influence our environment. Now we are going to have to cover our mouths to take to the streets and it is a great time to stop thinking as individuals and start thinking collectively.
A mask to go out in the street should not and cannot become a fashion, however, it can be a symbol of social change.
We are going to invite our community to become heroes in two ways: wearing a mask to protect themselves and others, and donating masks.
Closca is a brand that seeks to inspire social change through its products, services and brand message.
DESIGN THINKING & SELECTION OF MATERIALS
The Closca Mask project arises as a way to symbolize a very strange time we are living, to symbolize a society that wants to realize that a change of mentality is necessary and start thinking as a collective.
We have developed the product with the idea that our mask is something like a "protest product" where we can move away from fashion languages and seek in the essence of the word design the personality of our product. A mask to go out in the street is a drama. A drama caused by pollution or by a damn virus. Therefore, instead of hiding our filters in a fashion accessory, we wanted to highlight them and design a discreet, timeless and very, very practical product.
Closca Mask avoids the typical rubber bands on the ears to hold the masks that we believe caricature the wearer and, in addition, are not adjustable in size.
Closca Mask has a unique design inspired by our Closca Bottle, with an outer flap that ends in a colored band with our Consciousness colors (Savanna, Coral, Glacier & Beach), icons of nature that disappear before our eyes.
In addition, we have chosen from several options a fabric that shows that we are going to be wearing a mask to go out in 35ºC temperatures.
Good Design is Useful
Good Design is understandable
Good Design is honest
WHICH TYPE OF FILTER TO CHOOSE...
We have evaluated what kind of masks are available on the market and, of course, what kind of certifications exist for one of the most important parts, the air filtering system, which guarantees the functioning of the mask.
We believe that the best way is to offer filters that have regulatory certifications and are inserted in the inner compartment of the Closca Mask. These filters simply consist of a mask without rubber bands and with the pocket size of our Closca Mask.
WE ALREADY HAVE A SUPPLIER!
We have selected a supplier in China and reserved an initial quantity of filters with a GTS (Global Testing Services) certificate, validated by a European laboratory certifying that our filters come from masks classified as FFP2.
THE CHALLENGE BEGINS!
We have just launched the Closca Mask project! It is a non-profit project where we create a symbol and use all the corporate profit to donate masks.
It's amazing the response from the Closkers (that's what we call internally the Closca family). In three weeks we have managed to have a conceptual design, explanatory renderings, several prototypes underway...and selected a supplier of what was going to be our air filtering system.
China is working at 80% in all its factories, and many textile factories have adapted to a growing demand for sanitary masks.
Since Closca has had suppliers in China since 2015 who are already friends and part of our work team, we made the decision to manufacture in China.
COVID-19 AND CHAOS
We have developed a product without being able to travel to the manufacturing center to see the prototypes, we have not even been able to see the team in person to make decisions, and we are involved in a confusing and changing new world that is a great challenge for us. We have spent sleepless hours searching for solutions, but we have finally done it!
From now on everything will be fine....
PROBLEMS WITH FILTERS AND CHANGES
We are beginning to see how some of the masks that are imported lack the proper certificates to be marketed, so they do not give us any guarantee ... For this reason, we have decided to change the manufacturing process of the filters. We are going to stop importing sanitary material and we are going to look for it in Spain, since they offer us several advantages:
- Certified in Spain - 100% guarantee of results and avoid problems with international confusion about certificates.
- To be able to bring the manufacture of the filters to Spain and all the assembly and fitting of the Closca Mask.
- Use washable filters up to 5 times, greatly reducing the environmental impact, of which we are already seeing terrible results.
WE HAVE A NEW SUPPLIER!
We have been able to find one of the suppliers of masks for Healthcare in Valencia and reach an agreement with them.
We are extremely grateful to the companies that help us with the manufacture of the filters (Funcotex & Medi) as well as the company that helps us with the assembly and fitting (Mondeco).
CHANGES IN FILTERS AND DESIGN
We have communicated by newsletter the changes in the filter system and, in addition, we started to include photos of the real product.
In addition, we have realized that we have made a mistake, assuming that the newsletter was going to reach all our customers, and it has not. In parallel, we have discovered that there are people who assume that they have bought a PPE despite having mentioned it on the website.
WE COMMUNICATE AGAIN
Since the newsletter explaining the changes in the filters and the product has not reached all our customers, we have decided to send a direct email to all our customers re-specifying the changes we have made. Our goal is to communicate everything well so that there is no room for doubt.
In addition, we want to offer the possibility to cancel the product to our customers as they may not like the changes we have made. Therefore, we will refund 100% of the amount paid.
We have not known how to react to the people who have been frustrated and we have also suffered press attacks that, without knowing the situation, have published the news with aggressive headlines and false information, making believe that we have delivered the product when really what we have done has been to change the specifications of the product that is in development and production phase and always giving the possibility of cancellation and refund 100%.
We are doing our best to try to minimize the causes of these problems, wish us luck!
STATEMENT FROM THE CEO
In view of the fact that the criticism towards us continues to increase and that we are not able to respond to all those people who criticize us out of ignorance, we have decided to publish on LinkedIn and Twitter an official statement from Carlos, the CEO of the company, where he gives his vision about the project and the great challenges we have faced.
It is very hard to think that, although we have improved the product looking for the best comfort for our customers, we are still being criticized. However, we will continue to fight and learn.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
As the saying goes, there are no two without three, and we are a clear example.
Still recovering from the challenge of the filters and with our heads already thinking about the Closca Mask deliveries, we have another challenge to overcome; given the imbalances caused by the COVID-19 situation worldwide, the factory in China has informed us that the gray and white masks are going to take some time to arrive in Spain due to a transportation problem.
In addition, several things are starting to happen that we didn't count on; what used to take three or four days to ship now takes two weeks. We almost had a hold on our order and a whole host of other things, all of which are weirder and weirder.
Our team is working around the clock to ship the masks as quickly as possible to meet all the demand we have in the shortest period of time.
In the meantime, we continue to donate masks to the most needy groups. We have already donated more than 150,000 masks and this number continues to rise thanks to people like you, who are behind all this and who make up the Closca Community.
Fortunately for us, we are surrounded by people who support us and push us to improve and who show us that in situations of fear the worst thing is to remain paralyzed. We must learn to fight, to accept the challenges we face, to learn from our mistakes and to emerge stronger from difficult situations. That will make us bigger and better.
DELIVERY DATES AND SHIPMENTS
As of today, we can give you a little more information about the delivery dates we foresaw and how we have and are making the deliveries;
1st shipment: 5000 Closca Mask Black that arrived in our warehouse on Wednesday May 27th after many obstacles in China to the export of the black fabric in the masks. We started to ship them to our customers two days later.
2nd shipment: 5000 Closca Mask White which, like the black ones, arrived in our warehouses on Wednesday May 29th. These we started shipping to our customers a couple of days later after assembly and boxing in our Valencia center with the supplier Mondeco who are being a great partner.
3rd shipment: 5000 Closca Mask Black and White that arrived at our warehouse on Monday June 1st and that we are already delivering to our customers.
4th shipment: 5000 Closca Mask Black and White that arrived in Valencia on Thursday June 4th but are currently being held in customs for routine inspection processes and have not yet been shipped.
5th shipment: 5000 Closca Gray that arrived in Valencia on June 8th and that we are preparing to ship.
6th shipment: June 9th, Masks are still arriving. This time more than 5000 White and Gray.
7th shipment: On June 15, 9200 Closca Mask Black, Gray and White were delivered.
8th shipment: As you know the Masks in Grey color were blocked (along with other colors) and they have finally been unblocked! More than 5000 units are on their way since June 16th.
9th shipment: Let's go! The tricolor (Black, Gray and White) is here. 12000 units arriving only 2 days after the previous shipment. Let's work hard to make sure you get your Mask soon!
10th shipment: We are in the final stretch. June 19th and, last shipment of 8000 units.