Repurpose. Recreate. Reimagine. Refashion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
I made a few masks using scrap fabric leftover from old projects. There are tutorials across the internet with step-by-step instructions for non-medical, reusable cloth masks. It is a pretty simple diy project and you can make them with or without a sewing machine.
Thankfully, if diy is not your preference or if you prefer to purchase face masks instead, there are many options available online. There are also a variety of options if you want to shop sustainably or support businesses that champion a social cause. Whether it’s supporting artisans, caring for our environment, or donating purchased masks to others in need – check out these companies and my top picks for fashionable and sustainable masks that also support a social cause.
For the Pattern Lover – Rochelle Porter (Shop here)
Rochelle Porter Design’s are created using beautiful hand drawn prints. The usual collection features active wear and the company has expanded their collection to include face masks in their characteristic bold print. Like the other products, the face masks are made with organic cotton and printed using eco-friendly dyes, which is important considering that we wear the masks over our nose and mouth. The Mali Mask, shown below, is my favorite. These masks are also a great pick if you prefer masks made with elastic bands to fit over the ears.
For the Versatile Fashionista – Velvet Lamb (Shop here)
Velvet Lamb is a California-based clothing line that focuses on short supply chains, ethical production, and zero waste. Each piece is designed with versatility in mind, so you can wear them in a variety of ways. Their face masks, for example, are designed to be worn as headbands as well. My favorite is the mask below with the cheeky six feet physical distance reminder.
For the Artisan Supporter – Studio One Eighty Nine (Shop here)
Studio One Eighty Nine, co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, works with artisans in Ghana to produce their sustainable clothing line. Their masks are also produced by artisans in Ghana using cotton grown in Ghana as well. I like that these masks are three layers and there is also a pocket for filters.
For the Bulk Shopper – Reformation (Shop here)
Reformation is one of the largest sustainable fashion brands. They offer a pack of five cloth face masks for $25. You cannot choose your pattern with these, but you will receive a variety of masks for yourself or your family. These masks also tie in the back.
For the Humanitarian – Zel Haiti (Shop here)
Zel Haiti works with artisans in Haiti to produce medical scrubs. Please note that you won’t actually receive the mask(s) that you purchase from Zel Haiti. Instead, each $5 mask that is purchased is donated to a child or family in one of the remote feeding programs that Chances for Children supports in Haiti. Your mask purchase therefore supports someone who has less resources to buy or make their own mask, while also living in conditions that make it more challenging to remain physically distant from others.
John Hopkins University offers the following information when choosing a mask.
“Look for masks made with at least 2 layers of fabric. It should cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. The mask should have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. For people who wear glasses, look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging. Professional masks should be reserved for health care workers on the front lines caring for patients.”
I am not sure how long we will be wearing face masks, but I plan to build a fun rotation of masks while supporting others in the process. I hope you enjoyed this post and found some brands to support as well.