Carbon neutral face masks – a small local business with a big impact

Monday, February 8, 2021

Achieving a carbon neutral world seems like a daunting task – but companies like Sweat Free Apparel are bringing us one step closer to carbon neutrality through the creation of carbon neutral products, like face masks. Even better, they are doing it close to home – right here in Waterloo, Ontario!

Sweat Free Apparel is an immigrant-owned, carbon neutral startup created by some of our very own students here at the University of Waterloo. The company’s Founder, Chanakya Ramdev, is a graduate from the Management Engineering program and is on a mission: to make sure our clothes do more for us than just cover us. Specifically, they should contribute to a sustainable world. An added bonus? As the company’s name promises, their products are sweat-proof!

Two carbon neutral face masks.

"In a nutshell, we believe that reducing your carbon footprint is not enough. You have to push for carbon neutrality."


Sweet Free Apparel has created thousands of carbon neutral non-medical face masks that are reusable, waterproof, washable and comfortable. With face masks becoming a staple in households around the world, Chanakya took the pandemic as an opportunity to create massive change. Motivated after seeing nurses and frontline staff running out of face masks, Chanakya’s company used their innovative fabrics to create masks. Initially designed for sweat-free athletic apparel, they switched gears and used their fabrics to prevent droplets from passing through masks.

Through the creation of their carbon neutral face mask, Sweet Free Apparel has been able to protect an estimated 1.054 million square feet of the Amazon Rainforest (equivalent to 22 football fields)! A small company can truly make a huge impact. At the same time, as an entrepreneur still in his 20s, Chanakya proves that young people can be the leaders of positive, largescale change, noting that "just because we're tiny, doesn't mean our impact has to be tiny!"

Chanakya with two carbon neutral face masks in his hand.

Having recently partnered with Metrolinx, Sweet Free Apparel provided 10,000 face masks to regional transportation workers, helping them stay safe and sustainable. Chanakya is looking for suitable Canadian manufacturers; right now, the masks are manufactured in Shanghai. 

Check out the company’s website, or email them at with any questions you may have.