Holy Shit developing biodegradable masks

Founders take cradle-to-cradle approach to stop coronavirus-induced pollution
25 June 2021
Lea Lensky and Victor Louis Büchner, founders of Holy Shit

During the pandemic, passers-by could think themselves lucky not to be hit by flying coffee-2-go cups and masks swept up by the wind. Now, the student founders behind Holy Shit have come up with a biodegradable VivaMask to curb corona-induced pollution. "Our masks are made of lyocell - an industrially-produced, synthetic fibre made from wood pulp," said Lea Lensky, joint founder. The production of lyocell or cellulose obtained from beech and eucalyptus trees consumes ten times less water and six times less land than cotton cultivation, she pointed out.

Totally biodegradable

Masks will be around for quite some time, even if the incidence of COVID-19 drops continuously. "And masks will be lost," said Victor Louis Buechner, joint founder. "According to the OceansAsia conservation organization, over 1.5 billion masks have already ended up in oceans. Our masks are 100 per cent biodegradable, free of harmful substances and are manufactured without toxic dyes. They do not harm human beings or the environment."


Cradle to cradle and biological cycle

Holy Shit is committed to cradle to cradle designs under which a product is crafted with a biological cycle in mind. The concept was pioneered by Michael Braungart, founder of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency and professor at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, where Lensky, 24, and Büchner, 23 study. Lensky is double majoring in Cultural Studies and Business Administration and Büchner is studying International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship. Both decided to launch their company while at university and are now writing their respective bachelor's theses. "The seminars with Professor Braungart were very practical and we wanted to push that a bit further. We wanted to take knowledge from university and put it into practice. So, founding a company seemed like the ideal tool," said Büchner. "Professor Braungart was a great support and provided us with the share capital and the idea behind the name," Lensky pointed out.


Biodegradable Holy Shit mask
© Holy Shit

Striking name 

The company's name seemed cool but whimsical at first, the duo recall. "In fact, the name 'Holy Shit' is an absolute success. Professor Braungart's fame opens doors for us and our company name is remembered," Büchner noted. Holy Shit launched VivaMask, the first product of its kind, in co-operation with Climatex AG and Viotrade GmbH. However, the Holy Shit start-up is actually a consultancy. "We advise companies keen to develop products based on cradle to cradle designs. Our customers are in the construction industry and sports sector, where equipment e.g., yoga mats are developed based on cradle to cradle principles." What's next for Holy Shit i.e., when they both graduate? Buechner laughed and said: "It's our baby, we'll continue to look after it and make it big."