AN ENTERPRISING former Bradford Grammar School student and his two friends have launched a venture selling PPE masks for the public at cost price.

Greg Cox, 23, originally from Ilkley, Cogan Wade, 22 and Frederik Filz, 23, met at St Andrew’s University and were shocked when they saw the mark-up was as high as 500 per cent on some masks and other protective equipment.

Greg, who left Bradford Grammar in 2015 and is studying for a Masters in African Studies at Oxford University, said they started their initiative, Mask Bros, after the volunteering charity they had founded, Students Against Corona, needed to buy PPE equipment.

The friends were shocked at the price gouging which was happening and launched Mask Bros in response. They sourced the high-quality masks from contacts in China and Hong Kong and in less than two weeks, the trio has already sold more than 157,000 pieces, having reduced the price down from £1.45 to approximately 26p per mask.

Greg said: “The support for this has been incredible. We didn’t expect it to grow so quickly. In many ways for people, we sound too good to be true, but we’re not in it for a quick buck. We want to build a sustainable brand.

“We’re all pretty entrepreneurial and it’s been really enjoyable seeing it grow. We want to produce our own branded masks in the future.”

The friends had been distributing the masks from their flat in St Andrew’s, where they have been staying since lockdown began, but have since found a fulfilment centre. They make enough money to cover their costs, such as website and advertising fees, by charging a flat shipping rate.

Dr Simon Hinchliffe, headmaster at Bradford Grammar School, said: “Yet again we have an Old Bradfordian and friends showing the rest of the world just how entrepreneurial they are, fulfilling a need and yet doing it with integrity. We wish them every success with Mask Bros in the future.”

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