Made from upcycled materials, deadstock fabrics, and natural fibres, these eco-friendly reusable face masks look good and do good. Fight Covid-19 in style, and care for our planet.
Before 2020 face masks had a whole different meaning—a beauty staple that could moisturise, brighten or exfoliate. Today masks of an entirely different nature are the new normal, the most ubiquitous accessory on the street, and on our face. It’s widely acknowledged that wearing a face mask (and social distancing) can significantly reduce your chances of exposure to Covid-19 and reduce the spread of it, with masks mandatory in a number of cities around the world. And whether we like it or not, they’ll be sticking around for a while longer.
But single-use masks are also an environmental hazard. Billions are being disposed of around the world. They pile up in landfills, and they end up in oceans (where they can kill wildlife mistaking the masks for food) and on nature trails (seriously how hard is it to dispose of your mask thoughtfully?). With a lifespan of 450 years, these masks are an ecological time-bomb. It's clear that plastic isn't the solution, but another problem.
If you can’t handle all the pleating and sewing to make your own, fear not! Many designers and companies are creating durable and reusable masks that are stylish and safe. A mask takes up a lot of space on your face, so may as well make it a chic accessory as well as a necessity in fighting the global pandemic
Here are 6 brands that bring you cool reusable masks made from upcycled materials, deadstock fabrics, and natural fibres, and they also give back to social causes. And they all ship internationally.
Please note: These are not medical-grade masks. The latest guidelines from the World Health advises people over 60 or with underlying health conditions to wear medical grade masks (N95 Standard) “in settings where physical distancing cannot be achieved because of increased risk of infection and/or negative outcomes.”
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is the latest institution getting on board to fight the spread of Covid-19 with the launch of a series of face masks. The masks were created in Los Angeles in collaboration with an impressive line-up of artists like Virgil Abloh, Yoko Ono, Pipilotti Rist, Alex Israel, Catherine Opie and Barbara Kruger. The masks are double layered and outfitted with a pocket on the inside so that wearers can insert their own filter for extra protection. Not only can you wear a work of art but the masks also help raise urgently needed funds for the museum.
Sustainable and ethical German apparel brand Armed Angels have stepped up to bring us a series of eco-friendly, PETA-approved and reusable masks made from 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled polyester. And for each mask they sell a percentage of proceeds goes to Medecins Sans Frontiers. Choose from either black or white masks with messages like ‘ I warmly smile under this mask’ or ‘Protect each other.’
'Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet' is a joint campaign with Bags of Ethics to manufacture and retail sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings. Designed in London by six British designers— Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, RAEBURN and RIXO— the project aims to raise £1 million with 100% of sale profits going to charity and split between NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity. Choose from a range of fashionable prints.
Australian circular fashion label A.BCH offers 2ply 100% organic cotton mask, crafted from a thick, naturally moisture repelling rib outer and light jersey inner for coverage and breathability. They are washable at high temperatures, compostable at the end of life, and they come in four neutral colours.
These remnant face masks from sustainable Aussie fashion brand KitX come in single or triple layer, print or monochrome, and are made from old sampling scraps of hemp and linen. They also use 100% organic cotton elastic and ethically sourced rubber to fit around the ears, and the materials will biodegrade and return to nature in their breakdown.
These brightly printed masks made from remnant fabric are washable, reusable and have wire for shaping around the nose. And even better, each mask purchased providing employment to sewing technicians from refugee backgrounds. Buy one mask from The Social Outfit and they will donate one to a person in need.