Finding any sort of protective face mask is a challenge these days, as demand has gone through the roof, but if you’re looking for something special and have money to burn, you can try a mask made out of alligator or snake skin.
All American Gator, a Florida-based company specializing in products made out of alligator and snake skin has started selling special Covid-19 face masks made from reptile skin. The skin itself doesn’t really provide any protection against the novel coronavirus, but it’s a fashion statement, and the mask itself is designed to make the insertion and removal of filters and linings as easy as possible.
“People are going to have to cover their faces, and unfortunately the situation may last longer than we imagined,” All American Gator owner, Brian Wood, told The Miami Herald. “Some people want to make a fashion statement even during this pandemic, so I want to give them options.”
The masks are made from hypoallergenic soft shell silicone with the reptile skin stretched onto it. Wood says that he is considering using cloth because surgical-grade materials are so hard to find, but he did mention that some masks may come with advanced N95 filtration systems. As for aesthetics, python masks will be made with holes framed by black, silver or gold metal rings, will come in different colors and finishes, and will probably be secured with a band with a VELCRO closure.
“The designs are still in the early stages and I want to take advantage of the supply we have here not only of python skin, but also alligator and invasive iguanas,” Brian Wood said.
As for pricing, Wood estimates that face masks made with the skin of Burmese python (an invasive species wreaking havoc on the native wildlife of the Everglades) or invasive iguanas will cost around $90 each, while those made with alligator skin, “the diamond of leathers”, will cost $120.