CastleGrade Case by Leadoff Studio
by Chloe Gordon on 02/15/2022 | 3 Minute Read
Leadoff Studio worked closely with CastleGrade to develop an eco-friendly package to store, protect and extend the life of their reusable face masks. The CastleGrade G Series mask is one of the most effective face masks widely available, testing at a 98% filtration efficiency level for airborne particles. The company’s mission is to cut down on the waste created by disposable face masks from the COVID-19 pandemic.
CastleGrade’s customer base primarily consists of medical professionals, teachers and other essential workers. They loved the usefulness of the mask but found that it would get unsanitary too easily between uses or during transport.
Leadoff Studio was brought on to design and develop a packaging solution customized to the user-experience of CastleGrade's customers. The design looks to extend the life of the facemask, and continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout communities. This was particularly beneficial to CastleGrade’s essential worker customer base. It helps them stay safe and saves them money on an endless stream of throw-away masks. The case helps extend the life o the facemask, furthering the elimination of waste created from PPE.
Above all, the case is environmentally friendly, and completely plastic free. While plastic seemed like an easy choice for its light weight and moldability, Leadoff Studio pushed for Stainless Steel.
This material choice allows the packaging to last for decades. The design purposely uses no other materials so at the products end-of-life the user can put it in curbside metal recycling, where it can be easily processed in a typical recycling stream.
Stainless Steel allows the case to be sterilized in boiling water or in a dishwasher (similarly to the mask) to be reused infinitely.
Leadoff leveraged the material properties to create a simple construction using only 3 parts. Thin sheets of the Stainless Steel material were formed and rolled at strategic edges to create a lightweight but rigid package that would protect the mask in transit. Hinges are built directly from these parts to attach them into 2 distinct compartments- one main section for the mask and 1 underneath for replacement filters. The natural flex of the material allows the doors to have clasps built into them, resulting in a satisfying snap closure for each compartment.
Leadoff Studio specified the product in 3 distinct SKUs- natural, black, and rainbow. Natural uses no post process to showcase the cleanliness and strength of the stainless steel material. The black and rainbow SKUs (chosen to match popular CastleGrade mask colors), are PVD coated. Since this is a vapor driven process that does not use caustic or harmful chemicals, it is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to color metal. PVD bonds beneath the surface so it is long lasting and cannot easily scratch off. All logos and graphics were laser etched into the material to avoid using any toxic inks, and so they would not be able to rub off.
CastleGrade’s mission to reduce waste from PPE aligned perfectly with Leadoff Studio’s sustainability driven design values. The Case was designed with the environment in mind at every decision point. The result is an eco-conscious plastic-free package that will last for decades, and can be easily recyclable at its end-of-life. It is estimated to extend the life of CastleGrade’s reusable face mask by nearly double, preventing it from getting dirty, damaged or breaking, and allowing it to continue to save lives and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Design Credits:: Leadoff Studio
- Design Credits:: Jordan Diatlo
- Design Credits:: Julia Liao
- Design Credits:: Kevin Banos
- Design Credits:: Jessica Diatlo
- Design Credits:: Dan Castle
- Photographer:: Takamasa Ota
- Manufacturer: CastleGrade