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Earth Sea Sky manufactures masks

Earth Sea Sky’s David Ellis, Libby Flamank, Michael Ellis and Jane Ellis. Photo: Matthew Cattin

Two weeks into Level 4 lockdown and outdoor apparel manufacturer Earth Sea Sky is keeping busy.

After an initial shutdown, the small New Zealand-owned business has turned the lights back on to manufacture masks and distribute essential thermal and waterproof clothing.

The masks – like those manufactured by Cactus Outdoors – use a Lanaco filter, and will be available at the end of this week on the Earth Sea Sky website.

Operations manager Jane Ellis said being a small business during the pandemic can have its advantages.

“We’re working totally in isolation, and we’re chuckling because that’s what we do anyway.”

Ellis said the company spent a hectic few days fulfilling orders in the lead up to Level 4 restrictions, and she arrived home with just five minutes to spare on the night of lockdown.

The company was then approached by Lanaco to start manufacturing masks, and registered itself with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as an essential service.

“Within 10 days under level 4 restrictions, we managed to sort everything we needed for masks; the labelling, elastic and fabrics,” Ellis said.

Since then, the team has been busier than ever.

“Our main goal is to retain all of the jobs, and we’re confident we can do that,” Ellis said.

Ellis has a positive outlook about Covid-19, and hopes it will get Kiwis thinking more about New Zealand-owned businesses.

“I’m loving the fact that we are thinking about our own country and what’s available in it – plus the air is clean, there are no cars and you can hear the birds,” she said.

“There is a much wider community we’re connecting with and they’re all little businesses. It’s really inspiring – it’s what turns the wheels of New Zealand.”

The Earth Sea Sky HELIX.iso Mask pairs a washable, reusable mask with disposable filters.

A pack of two masks, nose clip and seven filters retails for $59.90.