As someone with allergies who’s very prone to getting sick, I throw out a worrying amount of snotty tissues in any given month.
But while I’m used to dirty tissues piling up around my home, I still think they’re gross - like any well-adjusted person would. A new company offering dirty tissues for premium prices obviously sees things differently.
Vaev Tissue, a new start up, is not your typical tissue company. Instead of soft, soothing tissues, Vaev offers their customers ones that are pre-used.
The Danish company based in Los Angeles claims that exposing yourself to their snotty tissues will make you sick, which they count as a feature and not a downside. Vaev claims you can build up your immune system by exposing yourself to the germy tissues.
Each tissue sold by Vaev has been treated with a “hydrolayer” of human sneeze collected from real sick people.
"We have a rotation of people who get sick for the production of this product," company founder Oliver Niessen told The Sun.
"The rotation guarantees that we always have at least one person sick/available to help make more. That is how the process works."
The company also suggests you can plan when to get sick using Vaev tissues, as if this will keep you from getting sick at less convenient times of the year.
In another stunning claim on their website, Vaev even says their tissues are "safer than needles or pills."
Here’s how Niessen pitched the business to Time:
"I mean, we customize everything in our lives and we have everything the way we want it, so why not approach sickness that way as well?"
And no, despite what you might think (or hope), Niessen insists his business is not an elaborate joke. (Although Time dug up several sketchy details about Vaev, including the fact that Niessen seems to not have a phone number or online presence.)
Bear in mind, doctors interviewed about the stomach-turning trend say Vaev’s claims are pure bunk. One, an infectious disease expert from Northeast Ohio Medical University, called Vaev "bizarre" and said it seems "like a total waste of money."
As another doctor explained to Time, there are hundreds of varieties of the common cold, so exposing yourself to one strain does almost nothing to protect you from getting sick.
Exposing yourself to a virus, even a mild one, is also dangerous because there’s no telling how severely your body could react. And it's highly questionable if the germs on those tissues could even survive the trip to your home.
Those concerns haven’t stopped the company’s customers, as Time reports that Vaev has been sold out for weeks after filling over 1,000 orders.