How did Cambridge Mask Co begin, and what are we doing now?
Cambridge Mask Co® was founded by Christopher Dobbing, a graduate of Cambridge University. After finishing his degree, Christopher moved to China, where he worked as an education consultant and studied Mandarin. Sadly, many of the talented young people he was working with had developed serious respiratory illnesses. While in Beijing interviewing students for summer programme applications, he would ask “What do you think is the greatest challenge for China in the next decade?” the near universal answer was “air pollution”. Having grown up breathing the pure air of rural England, Christopher found it shocking that many of the children found it normal to have a cough and carry an inhaler with them. He believes that no child should have to think like that.
After researching academic publications, health studies, news sources and historical pollution data he began to realise the scale of the issue, a problem that was claiming the lives of literally millions of people around the world every year. A curiosity turned into a passion, which morphed into an obsession – better air.
From 2013-2015 Christopher worked as the China Director for Vogmask, an American brand of pollution mask that he launched and grew into a national brand. In 2015 he left to set up his own business, focusing on his Cambridge roots. Every component of the mask* has been carefully sourced, with quality being at the forefront of every product development decision.
Cambridge Mask Co® has grown fast, and now has offices in UK and Hong Kong and a client list including schools, hospitals and embassies. Soon after founding, Cambridge Mask Co® gained investment from Y Combinator (YC) via their Fellowship Programme. YC is the incubator behind Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit and many more. We are also backed by the Martlet Fund linked to Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge and are a portfolio company of Cambridge Angles and Cambridge Capital Group. Together with our investors, the company is working on exciting technological developments that will change the way we think about clean air.
*there are 14, if you were curious.
While the inception of Cambridge Mask was largely related to air pollution in developing countries, which tend to be many more than you would think. Some of our top distribution areas are India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Poland, Indonesia and the USA. We also cater to many of those with Chronic Illness, such as Cystic Fibrosis. People all over the world are affected by chronic illness and compromised immune systems, making them more susceptible to bacteria and viruses than an ordinary person. Being able to help these people all over the world is what keeps our team focused, happy and fulfilled in the work we do today.