The Atoms Mask
BY ATOMS TEAM • 08.06.20
One year ago when Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali launched Atoms, they couldn’t imagine that they would ever be producing masks. But, as COVID-19 swept New York, they wanted to contribute to the fight against it. The Atoms Everyday Mask stemmed from Atoms founders Qasim and Ali’s desire to prevent their team—which works out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard—from catching COVID-19 last spring as it increased its grip over New York City, which at the time, was the American epicenter of the deadly coronavirus. There was a severe mask shortage in New York, which had just enforced a rule that everybody must wear masks. They noticed that their team members in South Korea wore masks and that the country seemed to have a handle on stopping COVID-19.
After purchasing masks off the shelves that were expensive and single-use, Qasim and Ali realized that they could utilize their production facilities in South Korea to reallocate their shoe manufacturing capabilities to making masks. The pair wanted the masks to be like their sneakers—comfortable, breathable, and equipped with an antimicrobial copper thread lining.
They knew that if Atoms made masks, the company could contribute to saving lives while helping the less fortunate who could not afford to buy masks by selling the masks at close to the cost of making them, and pledging to donate a mask to someone in need for each one sold. The pledge also allowed the Atoms community to help fight COVID-19 with the purchase of each mask.
By buying over 144,000 Atoms Everyday Masks, Atoms customers have helped organizations that include the New York City Housing Authority, Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, King County Emergency Management, Yakima Valley Community Foundation, and the United Sherpa Association.
Now that masks are required and proved to reduce the chances of getting infected by COVID-19, Qasim and Ali hope that the Atoms Everyday Masks encourages people to help others and to accept masks as the new normal.
Meet the Founders
Atoms founders Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali share how they met, the challenges they’ve faced along the way and what they have planned for the future of Atoms.
BY ANN BINLOT • 08.10.20