tobia zambotti unveils ‘coat-19’


italian designer tobia zambotti is once again highlighting the environmental impact of disposable face coverings with ‘coat-19’, a puffer jacket filled with used facemasks. the new project follows his mask-stuffed sofa dubbed ‘couch-19‘.


since the outbreak of coronavirus, single-use masks have been key in helping to prevent the spread of the virus. however, when not disposed of properly, these lifesaving masks pose a major threat to our oceans, as reported by the guardian in a 2020 article titled ‘more masks than jellyfish’.

tobia zambotti coat-19
images by luca ranghetti



HIGHLIGHTING a pandemic-related environmental issue


as iceland entered its 4th wave of COVID-19 in august 2021, the designer decided to collect about 1500 of the light-blue masks from the streets of reykjavík before they ended up in the ocean. zambotti then thoroughly disinfected them with ozone gas and shipped them to aleksi saastamoinen, a fashion design student at aalto university in finland who turned the recycled masks into the unusual stuffing for coat-19.


most of the disposable masks available on the market are made with a thermoplastic called polypropylene, which is also used to produce poly-fill, the most common acrylic stuffing for cheap down jackets: same material, same function, different look. the outer layer is a semi-transparent breathable and waterproof laminate based on bio-sources that let the disposable masks be visible.​ the garment aims to highlight what zambotti calls, ‘this absurd pandemic-related environmental issue.​’

tobia zambotti coat-19
the outer layer is a semi-transparent, breathable and waterproof laminate based on bio-sources that let the disposable masks be visible

tobia zambotti coat-19
coat-19 is filled with more than 1500 disinfected single-use masks

tobia zambotti coat-19
close-up view of the puffer jacket




project info:


name: coat-19
design: tobia zambotti and aleksi saastamoinen

photography: luca ranghetti


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom