"A much needed product with huge potential"

- Hubbub judge 

Betsy Cousins 

Awarded 'Creative Innovator' for her idea OptiAir

Graduating in 2020 from Loughborough University. 


OptiAir’s focus is to protect outdoor workers from air pollution. It aims to replace one-time use respirators which are both inefficient and bad for the environment, as they are single use products; manufactured to be disposed of. Through research it was highlighted that users find them to be uncomfortable, hot, sticky and sweaty, it was also discovered that respirators aren’t an essential part of the construction workers PPE and this leads to the majority of construction workers not wearing or utilising any respiratory protectors, leading to them inhaling ambient air particles; bad for their long term health.

This is where the need for OptiAir comes in. OptiAir is a hardhat with a built-in respirator, a hardhat is an essential part of construction workers PPE, so having the duel fan respirator built in will ensure the user uses the system; protecting their health. The sensor detects the workers' surrounding air quality. When harmful air quality levels are detected, the duel fans snap down to deliver clean air to the workers' breathing area to create a clean air shield and protect the outdoor worker from breathing in any harmful pollutants.

A modular design has been utilised to ensure that the product can be easily assembled and disassembled for recycling and disposal. 


"My ambition as a designer is to create designs that generate a genuine positive impact. To create products that get people talking and influence them to want to make a change, to better their life or the world we live in."

- Betsy Cousins