Sustainable Face Masks

June 23, 2020

Sustainable Face Masks

Lockdown in the UK is easing; public services are operating, shops are opening, and the normal daily activities are starting to resume. To maintain a certain level of safety, we're being encouraged to wear a face covering or mask.

Now that its mandatory to wear one on public transport, enclosed spaces, and pretty much anywhere that physical distancing isn't possible, people will be looking to buy a mask. Hopefully the majority of us opt for the washable, reusable type that are responsibly and sustainably-made.

A quick online search results in dozens of options from the disposable to the handmade. There are a lot of brands jumping on the demand for face masks by producing their own. However, in the eagerness to profit off our desire for safety, the safety of workers is being overlooked - as is often the case with fast fashion brands. Lets make sure we're asking who made our masks and if they're being treated fairly, giving our money only to those brands who ensure their safety as well as our own.

The World Heart Organisation has a useful guide on when to wear a mask and how to do so safety, I'm not going to go over that here. Masks do not guarantee safety and their effectiveness is limited yet they do offer a level of protection when physical distancing isn't possible, such as on public transport, or in enclosed spaces, like public buildings and supermarkets. Personally I'm hoping we continue the trend for wearing face masks after Covid-19 is over to protect against the spread of more common germs.



Sustainable Face Masks

As public buildings, shops, and workplaces start opening up again, you may opt to wear a mask when in confined or crowded areas where physical distancing gets difficult. If you want to go the handmade route, a simple face covering or mask can be made quick easily at home. There are plenty of guides online, like this one. If you'd prefer to buy a mask, I've discovered a few that are ethically-made, sustainable, and reusable. I've shared the ones I've purchased and used with a few more places to shop below.

Two Thirds (purchased) This Spanish brand has created a range of masks made from interlocked cotton fabric that has a level-3 approval rating from CITEVE for protection against COVID-19. The masks are designed to provide the perfect fit with adjusters at the ears and a metal clip on the nose. Delivery within the EU is free with 20% off for pre-ordering. 11.20 Euro per mask.

Boostology (gifted) Options include a linen and cotton mask with filter pocket, as well as a Luxury Linen Face Mask with a nose wire and filter pocket; a colourful option and a more basic one. You'll receive your plastic-free masks in minimal recyclable packaging and for every order you place, Boostology will plant a tree.

FFSBS (gifted) Handmade using scrap cotton, these up-cycled masks feature a double layered, pleated design. The brand was set up by 4 London teenagers working with a factory in Portugal to sustainably produce these masks. 10% of profits are donated to Young Minds, a charity focused on the mental health of children and young people. £9.99 for a 2-pack with children's sizes available.


Other places to buy your masks:
Aeibe
Baukjen
Cosy Giraffe
Designs By Lo
Everlane
Hartlam Designs
Moyo Kids
Newt
Plumo
Po-Zu
ShuMasuku
Vesta Living
Wawwa




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