Face masks are now becoming the norm, and no, we’re not talking about the pampering kind. In fact, according to the new guidelines set out by the government this week, ‘people should wear face-coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and where they come into contact with others who they do not normally meet, such as on public transport or in some shops’.
Since the PM has advised that surgical face masks should be reserved for healthcare workers, most people are turning to reusable fabric face masks instead.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
The government also clarified that you should wear a face mask as a protection to others, so that you don’t inadvertently spread germs if you are asymptomatic. You should still cover your face though, making sure it fits nicely over your chin, mouth and nose, and don’t touch your face after putting it on or taking it off, and of course wash your hands.
Do face masks work?
As mentioned previously, face masks are mainly to protect others rather than the wearer, and fabric face masks won’t be as efficient as medical grade ones, but they are better than nothing, especially if you can wash and reuse them. The fabric used also makes a difference, as it should be able to filter particles, for example, silk doesn’t according to studies, so make sure you do your research.
Where to buy face masks
If you’re not a dab hand at sewing, fear not, you don’t have to make your own (though if you do, here are the guidelines) as loads of fashion brands have jumped on the bandwagon. Here are a few options you can buy now, including some stylish ones because it can’t hurt either. As an added bonus, certain brands are donating part of the sales to charities.
Please note some of these have been very popular and are pre-order only, which means you might have to wait a little longer for the masks to be made and shipped.
Sold as a pack of three, the fabrics feature classic Boden patterns, all designed in-house in London with proceeds going to Helpforce, a big-hearted charity that organises initiatives to improve the lives of NHS staff and patients.
Up-cycled from the offcuts of our AW20 collection samples, each mask is made from 100% wool and silk blended fabrics, ensuring that they are comfortable on sensitive skin as well as being eco-friendly. For extra protection, medical filters can be added in to the pocket at the back of the mask. Available on one size only, the pleats allow each mask to adjust to various face shapes and sizes with elastic fastenings for easy-wear.
The outside is made of hydrophobic, i.e. moisture-repellent material, and on the inside of the mask, there is a hydrophilic, i.e. moisture-absorbing material.
Mask set made of pure cotton with colour matching, narrow elastic bands for a secure fit on the ears. The face masks are sewn in two layers, foldable and reinforced with flexible wire in the nose area.
Valle&Vik will be donating 100% of proceeds from the silks face masks to NHS. The two-layered silk face mask has an internal pocket so you can add your own filter if desired. The masks feature silk-covered elastic straps for comfort, cotton lining, and a matching silk drawstring bag for safe storage.
The masks are made from high-quality cotton, with an anti-bacterial inner lining and are cut to shape well to the face for comfort. Sunspel will be donating one mask to community and public service projects for every mask purchased on their website.
London-based women, Lynn Mackie and Lindsay Paterson, are transforming their hospitality uniform business into a campaign designing bespoke masks for businesses using leftover fabric from London hotel uniforms and NHS-approved scrubs. For every 100 masks ordered, 20 masks are donated to charities who need them most - with recent charities including The Passage, a charity helping to feed London's homeless.
To place an order, please email email@example.com or call 07976 721 538
And ethical and sustainable womenswear label, Mayamiko, that has been worn by Meghan Markle, has launched a range of reusable masks made from up-cycled fabric. The masks are £10 and for every purchase one is donated to frontline workers in Africa with less access to western PPE.
The masks are made by hand from their fabric archives and lined with 100% antimicrobial cotton tightly woven together to prevent the spread of germs, in line with the CDC guidelines. The fabric is from French mill, Malhia Kent, renowned for creating many of Chanel’s iconic tweeds. For each mask bought, one will be donated to the Mission Homeless Shelter in LA.
The brand have created a collection of unisex facemasks that come in a range of colours, prints and fabrics. They are machine washable and can be tied in multiple ways to secure to the face. 25% of sales will be going to @fuelourfrontline charity who are delivering essential groceries to hospitals around the UK. They will not necessarily protect you from coronavirus but will stop you from spreading your own germs - protecting those around you.
These are double lined and printed on 16 momme crepe de chine silk, with an effortlessly luxurious matte finish. £5 from the Liberty face masks will go to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in support of paramedics, health care workers and the communities that use these services during this difficult time.
Sassi has designed a set of six lightweight, washable face masks made from 100% sustainable Egyptian cotton. Each mask retails at £25 with 80% of proceeds donated to Women’s Aid.
The set of 2 non-medical, reusable masks is made with the brand’s heritage pints from years past, and lined with 100% cotton. Sales from the masks in April went to No Kid Hungry who are making sure kids across the US get the food they need – during school closures and all year long.
The reusable face masks are made with breathable cotton materials, washable, and fitted with a filter to help fight the spread of illness. Plus, with every purchase of the CASETiFY Reusable Cloth Mask, a surgical mask will be donated to a health worker in need.
The triple-layered 100% cotton face mask comes with elastic ear loops and a cotton pouch. They are washable and reusable, and for each pack bought, the brand will be donating three facemasks to the Katherine Low settlement.
Masks are made from 2 layers of 100% cotton fabric and have a filter pocket for inserting a napkin or filter.
£10 from every mask will go to the NHS Charities Together; the rest covers VAT, fabric, lining, sewing and transport. They are made of 2 layers of Liberty print cotton - 1 layer of nonwoven TNT fabric.
This face mask comes with am amor filter.
Each pack contains 5 reusable masks made from assorted custom RAILS fabrications in 100% cotton. For every pack purchased Rails will donate a pack to essential workers and businesses in their local communities.
This is a 2 layer mask so you can insert your own filter into your mask (please note, the brand does not sell these filters.) Whilst these masks are not a substitute for medical-grade ones, when used properly and with a filter they will help to contribute to less particle transmission. They are being sold at cost price.
The mouth and nose mask, with a tie strap, is made of soft jersey, washable at 60°and the covers mouth and nose optimally. Thanks to the breathable material, breathing is easy when wearing the mask.
This is a pack of three barrier masks, cut from our original pattern, and made of 100% Nonwoven Spunbond Polyproylene - the fluid resistant, breathable fabric used to make surgical masks. Although not a medical-grade N95 or P3, this design fits similarly closely to the face with no gaps (surgical masks are normally not designed to be air-tight, they’re only designed to protect the wearer from splashes).
These are non-medical, reusable masks with ties. Prints and colors within the shipments will vary; you may get a variety of prints and colors or ones that are all the same and not necessarily assorted.