This post was sponsored by briiv, all thoughts my own.
Many of us have spent the last few years working from home, getting very acquainted with our indoor spaces along the way. But air quality is an important factor to consider, even when you stay indoors. And that’s where briiv comes in.
The problem with indoor pollution
I wrote about air pollution back in 2019, with the aim of focusing on pollutants from sources like traffic and manufacturing, the outdoor stuff we’re used to hearing about. But there’s more to it than this.
Factors such as building materials and how a building is ventilated, how we heat and cook in our homes, and the cleaning products we use can all affect indoor air quality. When researchers in the US looked at levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in roadside air in Los Angeles, they found that as much came from petroleum-based industrial/household products as from vehicle exhausts. Products like cleaners, paints, glues, hairspray, perfumes, deodorants, candles, stovetops and moulds can all release tiny particles and harmful gases into the air.
For every kilogram of fuel that is burned, only about one gram ends up in the air. For these household and personal products, some compounds evaporate almost completely.”
This pollution can have significant health impacts. Many cleaning products contain VOCs (eg. acetone, xylene and formaldehyde), alongside ammonia and bleach, which have been linked to a range of health issues including headaches, respiratory problems, and asthma, while a 2018 study found a link between air pollutants and impaired cognitive performance over time.
But, there are things that can be done. As well as avoiding options like VOC-heavy cleaners and aerosols, many people opt for an air filter to reduce toxins, pollution and fine dust in the air overall. And briiv has a way for you to do that as sustainably as possible.
briiv’s sustainable air filter
Better air quality has been linked to better sleep, higher energy levels and improved cognitive function. It’s unsurprising to learn, therefore, that 15,000,000 air filters were purchased in 2019 alone. Unfortunately, these filters usually need to be replaced every 6-8 months and can’t be recycled, leading to an estimated 6000 tonnes of HEPA filters being sent to landfill annually.
briiv is created as a better alternative, designed to be just as effective at cleaning the air we breathe, without the environmental impact. Using the power of nature, with a little boost, briiv is as powerful as 3,043 medium size houseplants. Design is inspired by the British countryside; using natural colours, textures and materials to emulate the outside world, blending beautifully with indoor spaces and packing a powerful cleaning punch.
The key to this filter, however, is a commitment to a circular and sustainable design process. Everything is created with end of life in mind, replacing conventional materials (and plastics) with biodegradable and natural alternatives.
Natural fibres & ethical manufacturing
briiv uses three fully biodegradable layers to filter air naturally, effectively improving the air quality in a 36m² (387ft²) living space in just one hour. Air is pulled in through each of these layers, each specifically designed to capture air particles of varying sizes:
- Sustainably sourced moss: naturally dried moss captures large particulate matter like dust and pollen from the air.
- Coconut: sourced from the outer husk of the nut, this layer traps harmful substances such as bacteria and mould spores.
- Combination Silk Matrix: able to capture small particles like VOCs and harmful fine dust, this newly engineered bespoke filter is 100% biodegradable (as opposed to plastic micro-fibres). It combines activated charcoal, which pulls odour from the air, and nanofibers created from sustainably sourced raw peace silk, to create an incredibly efficient fine mesh to catch these particles.
In total, briiv have worked through 37 variations of this design. The full filter was modelled and strictly tested at every stage, and can be easily composted at home when the time comes to replace them.
This process has enabled them to use fewer plastics than any other air purifier on the market. Instead, they use a new bio-plastic created from hemp (an incredibly sustainable crop) and elephant grass, which is grown where agricultural crops can’t be planted. Each outer component is designed to either be biodegradable or easily recycled, leaving just a small number of electrical components (which make up 10% of the product) which they aim to replace with more sustainable alternatives as this technology becomes available.
briiv is also completely manufactured in the UK: providing jobs in local areas and contributing to the local economies, while also allowing the team to oversee quality control of each component and ensure fair working conditions. With everything built in house, it also means they don’t have to undertake extensive travel to factories and suppliers to perform quality inspections on the final product. Plus, briiv also use Carbonfund to offset carbon from plastics that can’t be removed, alongside logistics, production and lifetime energy use.
Easy to use
briiv is low energy, estimated to cost just £2 per year to run, and incredibly easy to set up. It takes around 5 minutes to get started, simply placing filters into the device before turning it on, and is zero maintenance from there with no watering required. It has hands-free controls, and an app for when you’re away that allows you to set timers, turn it on and off remotely, and track filter usage as it runs.
So far, I’ve loved using briiv. I tend to place mine in my living room and run it through the day, as it does make a little noise (not to the point of it being a disturbance for me). I like using it to freshen my spaces, alongside opening windows first thing in the morning, or after activities such as burning candles or cooking as it’s extremely effective for absorbing smells.
Plus, while I love the plants I do own, I don’t quite have the space for over 3000 of them. I love having briiv as its own beautiful terrarium which just happens to filter my air incredibly well. It fits in easily within my home and doesn’t add any extra stress to my life, it simply adds a unique aesthetic while helping keep my space healthy and clean. I love it, and I love that there’s a more ethical and sustainable option out there for anyone else who may be considering an air filter.