Mask vending machines set up in Woodford Green and Chigwell as mandatory coverings are ‘new normal’

Maskey founder Adam Freeman set up the UK's first mask vending machine in Chigwell. Picture: Adam Fr

Maskey founder Adam Freeman set up the UK's first mask vending machine in Chigwell. Picture: Adam Freeman - Credit: Archant

A Chigwell man has launched mask vending machines in Woodford Tube station, Chigwell and the West End to help protect people as lockdown measures are eased up today.

Adam Freeman set up Maskey, the UK’s first mask-vending machine, in Chigwell last month and so far has launched more than 10 across the country.

Maskey has been producing 2,500 masks a week to sell online and has employed 12 machinists.

Today Maskey unveiled a vending machine in toy shop Hamleys, Regent Street, ahead of its big reopening.

New rules coming into force today mean face coverings are mandatory on public transport and while visiting hospitals. Adam believes demand for his colourful cotton cloth coverings will grow hugely.

Maskey expects to have 20 more installed in the next few weeks. Three are near London Underground stations, and there is a dedicated Maskey shop in Woodford Green.

Adam said: “We have continually scaled up our production over the past few weeks to meet increasing demand, taking on new machinists, finding more space for them to work and making more room to build up stock to meet the increasing orders that will come due to the changes in the rules.

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“We have been inundated with requests from shopping centres and businesses too and all are keen to have their own vending machine installed for staff and customers.”

Maskey’s technology also allows it to personalise the face coverings with logos or names.

And it is now exploring making a mask that has a clear window around the mouth, to make it easier for lip-reading.

Adam said: “All the businesses we are speaking to want ways to keep both staff and customers safe at this difficult time.

“It is clear they feel that while not compulsory to wear everywhere, these face coverings offer people confidence to get back out and about in this new normal.”

Adam is donating 10per cent from the profit of every mask sold to the charity he set up called Lenderhand, which has raised more than £40,000 to help people in need with food parcels and PPE supplies across London and Essex.