The 'Bear Scough' / SCOUGH

The clothing item takes inspiration from the surgical mask

The makers of a new scarf claim it could protect its wearers from catching flu this winter.

Taking inspiration from the everyday scarf and surgical masks commonly worn by people in Japan, the Brooklyn based inventors are looking to prevent the spread of germs a little closer to home, Community Lab reports.

Scough, which uses military-grade technology, embeds the masks within their scarves or bandanas so as to look less outlandish to commuters, who the product is marketed at.

The thinking is that squeezed on to public transport, those travelling on a daily basis to work in big cities are more susceptible to infectious bugs.

Scough co-founder Ari Klaristenfeld said inspiration struck on wintertime subway trips with collaborator Andrew Kessler. “He'd put a scarf over his face, like you would to stay warm, but he'd do it to protect himself from germs,” Klaristenfeld said. “It wasn’t effective, but it didn't look nearly as weird as a surgeon's mask,” Community Lab quoted him as saying.

Klaristenfeld, Kessler, and designer Alexa Nigro first experimented with inserting common paper masks into scarf material, but they proved ineffective at stopping particles getting through.


After consulting with medical professionals, the Scough team discovered filters made from silver-impregnated activated carbon, a material used in masks designed to help wearers survive chemical warfare. It actively traps and kills germs as well as pollutants. The filters last up to three months, and can be slipped in and out of a pocket inside the Scough for easy washing.

The anti-infection scarves and bandanas cost between $29-$89 and are available for shipping outside the US.