Reusable face masks have become the norm, and no, and although restrictions will be lifted in June, it's likely we will still need to wear face coverings for the foreseeable.
While surgical face masks are no longer just reserved for healthcare workers, most people are turning to reusable fabric face masks as a more practical and less wasteful solution. With that in mind, we've rounded up a few options you can buy online now.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
At the moment, we're still required to wear face coverings indoors and on public transport, to avoid inadvertently spread germs. The government hasn't yet announced when this rule will be scrapped, so for the moment it's the one essential item you need to take with you everywhere, alongside some antibac of course.
Do face masks work?
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.
Please note you should wash your reusable face mask after every wearing, so it's worth stocking up if you don't want to end up with all of them in the wash at once.
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 to match your mask to your outfit.
The jewellery brand's silk face mask can be jazzed up with a removable gold and pearl chain.
GAP masks are made with soft, lightweight cotton so you're covered and you can breathe comfortably. You are advised to wash masks before first wear and after use.
The Masuku One mask is said to be the most 'advanced eco-friendly mask' out there. The Frame (fabric cover) is HDPE and 100% recyclable and the Outer fabric is made from PET, the same as water bottles and can be recycled.The Filter is made from three layers of biobased materials, in the middle sits the filtration membrane made from an medical grade polymer traditionally used in skin grafts, which shows its high bio compatibility. It’s designed to be completely compostable in both water and earth – pending certification. The masks have an efficient filtration system, meaning the effort required to get air through the filter is far less than in other masks.
This face covering offers comfort and protection in breathable organic cotton. Each face covering features an eye-catching Mulberry print and comes equipped with a canvas pouch for safe storage.
This non-medical face covering comes in a gorgeous summer floral print to match dresses and tops within the Rixo collection.
The Capri - sand color reusable and sustainable fashion face mask has a hypoallergenic super soft jersey skin protect inner layer. The outer layer uses a combination of aerosilver ®️ yarns containing 50% pure silver fibre which is an antimicrobial fabric for maximum bacterial and viral protection as well as ultraviolet protection.
By designers Julien MacDonald, Mulberry, Rixo, Liam Hodges, Ræburn and Halpern Great British Designer Face Coverings. The pack includes 6 washable face masks and 4 protective pouches.
Designed in an iconic Needle & Thread floral print, this non surgical face mask comes with a second layer of plain lining included for added comfort and protection. It is crafted with horizontal pleats across the front for easy movement and a natural, comfortable fit around the shape of the face. The brand is supporting mothers2mothers (m2m), an organisation that unlocks the power of women to eliminate childhood AIDS and healthy families, with 50% of all face mask profits to support their COVID-19 emergency appeal.
The ISKO Vital™ Supreme Face Cover is an Eco Friendly face cover that can be washed up to 30 times. It is produced with Organic Cotton and therefore biodegradable. In this face cover we use a special material from SANITIZED™.
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.
Sold as a pack of three, the fabrics feature classic Boden patterns, all designed in-house in London.
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.
Valle&Vik will be donating a percentage of proceeds from the silk face masks to selected NHS charities. 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.
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.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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