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Aries Donates Face Masks for NC State University Spring 2021 Commencement

Entrepreneur collaborated with the Nonwovens Institute to develop durable, innovative mask that delivers comfort and breathability without sacrificing quality

Raleigh, NC — May 12, 2021 — Aries, maker of face masks and barrier face coverings, announced it is donating 12,000 of its face masks for graduates and attendees to wear at the NC State University commencement on May 15. The company, founded in 2020 by entrepreneur Chris Evans, worked with NC State’s Nonwovens Institute (NWI) to source and make proprietary changes to a novel, innovative spunbond textile developed by Behnam Pourdeyhimi, the Nonwovens Institute’s executive director.

“NC State is proud to show our graduates the advancement that is born from our university,” said Louis Hunt, NC State’s senior vice provost. “The innovation, at both NWI and Aries, serves as an inspiration to us all & especially for tomorrow’s leaders.”

The new Aries mask is one of the first on the market to combine comfort and fit with a high-filtration, breathable design that meets the ASTM F3502 international standard for barrier face coverings. The mask is made with fabric that includes Ingeo™, a bioplastic with a smaller carbon footprint than petroleum-based polymers, making it one of the most sustainable masks on the market. The fabric used in Aries masks, called Captur™, is made at the LINC facility at NC State. Each mask is designed to last for 40-hours, or a typical 5-day work week. All mask components are manufactured in the United States.

“The fabric that was developed at the Nonwovens Institute gave us a great foundation for a mask that breathes like cotton while offering medical-grade filtration,” Evans said. “We want to make sure our wearers are both protected and comfortable, whether at work or in a stadium full of graduates.”
Evans co-founded the Wolfpack Investor Network and currently serves on the NC State Entrepreneurs Advisory Board and Chancellor’s Innovation Fund selection committee.

“The Nonwovens Institute has worked tirelessly to provide filtration media during the pandemic,” Pourdeyhimi said. “In addition to being part of this year’s historic graduation ceremonies, we are proud that we have provided enough filter media to produce more than 200 million masks during the pandemic.”

About Aries
Aries (pronounced Air-Ease) believes that wearing a face mask should be a comfortable experience. Aries is dedicated to creating the best protective mask solutions through innovation. The company has partnered with leading U.S. providers of polymers and engineered fabrics to make Captur™, a novel, engineered fabric technology providing high levels of protective filtration combined with breathability. These superior masks solve the challenges of material availability, filtration and comfort. Made 100% in the United States, Aries ensures organizations are buying the highest quality mask to protect themselves and their employees. For more information, visit www.aries-usa.com.

About Nonwovens Institute
The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is the world’s first accredited academic program for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics. Based at the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the NWI is an innovative global partnership between industry, government and academe. Operating on an open innovation platform, the Nonwovens Institute engages experts from industry and higher education in building next-generation nonwoven applications while providing training and guidance to the field’s future leaders.