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Young entrepreneur hopes his native Scotland embraces charity facemask business

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He grew up in the relative solitude of his family home on the edge of the Cairngorms. Now a young entrepreneur is hoping to help keep the busiest parts of Scotland Covid-free.

Joe Hayden has for the last six weeks worked alongside three friends on a facemask business called Pucker which donates 25% of all profits to charity and is providing struggling independent makers with work.

Now he is hoping Scotland will embrace the brand he has worked hard to build, as shoppers face the prospect of fines from Friday, July 10 if they do not wear a face covering.

Joe, 29, said: “Since we launched Pucker we have been overwhelmed by the level of support from people who have been looking for what we like to call a ‘mask with morals’.

“As big believers in the power of business to work for social good, we’re keen to ensure that Pucker makes a positive impact on the world. Which is why we’re hoping the contribution from our profits to charity will help some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Of equal importance is that our independent makers get paid a living wage for their work. We are hoping that our flexible and distributed manufacturing model will allow makers to work both remotely and safely.

“All in, we see Pucker as a force for good.”

On July 2, at her daily briefing, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made it mandatory for face masks to be worn in shops from July 10. The new measure comes just weeks after face coverings were made compulsory on all public transport.

The World Health Organization has acknowledged there is “emerging evidence” on airborne transmission of the coronavirus after an international group of scientists said it could spread far beyond two metres (6 feet).

It later said face masks should be worn in places where social distancing was not possible and advised that people should wear a fabric mask as opposed to a medical one.

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Pucker has a choice of seven designs, from the Summer Breeze, Big Juicy and Minimalist collections.

Each mask is handmade from three layers of high-quality, soft, breathable cotton. They have a shaped nose and chin, adjustable nose bridge and ear toggles to provide a top-of-the-range fit. The masks also have a pocket into which a range of common particulate filters can be inserted.

Joe, who along with fellow Pucker founder Cathy Van Hear and Nik Higgins agreed that a quarter of all profits should be split between Crisis, Mind and Refuge, said: “I know the Scottish people will embrace the new rules; throughout this crisis, they have acted admirably and with the best intentions of the nation and their fellow Scots at heart.

“I’m now based in London, but my mother and brothers, who still live in Brechin, and my dad, who now lives in Edinburgh all have their Puckers on order. It will be a proud day when I am next at home and I see them step out wearing them.”

Visit puckermasks.uk for more information and to shop the range.

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