Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing masks has become the new normal. Established in 2020, the Macaufacture Medical Supplies Limited (MMS) seized this business opportunity and took the lead in setting up a factory in Macao to produce high-quality disposable three-layer medical masks. On the basis of quality assurance, masks were designed in various styles which not only have gained local repute, but have also successfully entered the overseas markets as “Made in Macao” products.
Orderly working environment in the factory
The mission of “853”
At the peak of the pandemic in March 2020, the Macao SAR Government stepped up the procurement of masks from all over the world in order to meet the needs of local residents. However, masks were still generally in short supply. In view of this, Chan Mei Wa, managing director of MMS, wished to take up some social responsibility and stabilise the supply of masks through her own efforts, therefore decided to set up her own mask factory in Macao with a few friends with extensive medical experience. The factory and brand are named after the international dialling code “853” of which Macao people are extremely familiar. Despite being just three simple digits, they are already enough to represent the sincerest regards of the people of Macao.
Chan Mei Wa hopes to expand the 853 Face Mask business overseas
Sharp eyes and fast hands for high efficiency
Chan recalls that it was not easy to prepare for the establishment of the factory but the process was rapid, and the lease of the factory and the warehouse was confirmed in just one week. With the assistance of the Investor’s “One-Stop” Service provided by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), the renovation was completed within 15 days in accordance with the regulatory standards of government departments to ensure that the masks are produced in a 100,000-class dust-free workshop. The temporary industrial licence was successfully obtained in late June 2020 and the factory was officially began production in July.
In response to the rapid increase in the global demand for mask fabrics and production materials, MMS seized the opportunity to pre-purchase 10 tons of each type of high-quality mask fabric, which would last for up to a year. The factory currently has four production lines, three of which produce adult masks and one which produces children’s masks, and the daily maximum output can reach up to 250,000. The filter layer used in the 853 Face Mask is made of German melt-blown nonwovens, which is durable, waterproof and able to capture and block more than 95% of particles. Compared with the common three-layer masks available on the market, the 853 Face Mask can block particles and bacteria more thoroughly and effectively.
Over 150 styles to choose from
An employee strictly maintaining product hygiene and safety
Quality first and individual styles on offer
Comfort and fashion are the reasons why the 853 Face Mask stands out in the market. Chan said that the company strictly monitors the production process and all staff members are required to wear protective medical clothing and undergo dust removal and disinfection before entering the mask factory, in order to ensure the quality and safety of the masks. “The company pursues a long-term development in as such that masks failing to reach the standards will never leave the door of the factory”. The masks have not only been endorsed with the quality inspection reports from certification institutions such as the CCIC Macau Company Limited, SGS Hong Kong Limited and Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre (STC), but have also been given the CE certification for meeting European and US standards, and have successfully been exported to the European Union and other international markets. In order to keep up with customer requirements in regard to mask design and satisfying the tastes of the general public, the company has hired young designers to provide customisation services and has launched at least 150 styles so far for customers to choose from. The company also frequently launches special edition masks as a crossover with other brands from different sectors, which have received a positive feedback from customers and have seen strong sales figures.
Chan mentioned that at the invitation of IPIM, the company participated in the 25th Macao International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF) for the first time in 2020 and achieved positive results. In the same year, the company successfully entered “Macao Ideas” to display their products, hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance the brand image and popularity through various exhibition sites of the platform.
The masks have obtained the STC quality certification
The 853 Face Mask factory located in Areia Preta, Macao
“We will persist in making quality products as long as the market still needs masks”
Chan thinks that the demand for masks may decrease when the pandemic is brought under control in the future. However, the public health awareness of people across the globe has increased after the outbreak of the pandemic, and she believes that the market will still have a certain demand for masks. She does not rule out the possibility of adding production lines for other medical and hygiene products to achieve the company’s diverse development. In September 2020, MMS introduced the first facemask vending machine in Macao. Currently, there are more than 20 facemask vending machines and more than 50 pharmacies in Macao selling 853 Face Masks, which are convenient for the public and can also ensure a stable supply. In April 2021, the company opened their first shop “Experience by 853” at a large shopping centre in Avenida de Venceslau de Morais, featuring a mask making area for parents and children to experience the fun of making masks.
The first face mask vending machine in Macao
Various masks available in the shop
The experience shop “Experience by 853” at a large shopping centre in Avenida de Venceslau de Morais
If you are interested in discussing co-operation with the above-mentioned company, please contact the staff of “Macao Ideas” during office hours.
Ms Cheang +853 8798 9707
Ms Chong +853 8798 9739