Scorching heat and pollution can often cause irritation to the skin and leave one feeling unpleasant. Having faced the same issues in her work life, Deepthi Nathala, an IIT-Madras alumnus created a fabric that could kill bacteria, air-borne viruses and provide protection against pollution at the same time.
"The fabric is proven and tested against H1N1, COVID-19, Ecoli, and Salmonella and is safe against dust, S02, NO2, pollen and ultraviolet A and B sun rays," Deepthi said.
After working in California for a few years, when Deepthi returned to India, she observed that a lot of people cover their face using dupattas to protect themselves from pollution and dust. Even she personally felt an unpleasant sensation on her skin when she was on roads during work hours. The environmental changes were too much for her to bear and she started looking for natural solutions
After observing wrapped dupatta and handkerchief on many people, she sent these samples to National laboratories to find the results. It was shocking for her to know that their protection range limits to only 10% from UV rays and 10% from air pollution.
As air pollution is a major problem now especially in metro cities, she decided to set up her own textile manufacturing startup named 'Hecoll'. Under the brand, Deepthi introduced washable, reusable face masks and headgear that protects one from airborne viruses.
"Being a nanotechnologist, I did not support surgical mask and N95 masks which are a disaster to dispose of – millions of contaminated waste – as they are biomedical waste."
Through her company, she has created products by using the latest technology and they are made with material that is easily compostable in the environment.
Through her start-up, she also provided employment to many women. Most of the products are prepared by women.