Fashion has to find ways to respond to our needs, and what we need right now is to take care of each other.
The best to do so is to wear a mask every time we get out of the house.
Yes, there are barley single-use masks available on the market. However, those have to remain available for the people working in hospitals. The best way for you to mask up is to either get or sew fabric face masks that you can reuse.
Bonus: the more sustainable, the better! So go for masks that can cover several uses, possibly using fabrics you already have around.
It is very important that you know what those masks actually do for you, and how to (re)use them.
Here are some facts that help you to stay safe and avoid common mistakes. We'll also give you a list of the best tutorials we found online. Not feeling crafty? Never mind, we also have a list of initiatives that created so many diverse and beautiful masks!
X Use a mask with two layers and put a filter in between! You can get creative - use coffee or tee filters, kitchen towel - yes you can take a piece of toilet paper if you dare to use this holy resource.
IMPORTANT: change the filter every time you have used your mask in the outside world.
X If you're making your own mask, you can repurpose table cloth, bed sheets or any other cotton material you have at home!
X Wash your hands before putting the mask on, and if you are taking it off, do not touch the front of the mask, only the side and the rubber band!
X Keep it clean! After wearing it once, wash it at 60°C or put it in boiling water for 5mins!
X Do not clean the mask with sanitiser - this is not effective. You have to wash it properly!
X The fabric should not contain any polyester fibre - the best is 100% cotton or other materials that can be washed at high temperatures!
X Wear a mask of a good size for you and if you sew it yourself add wire around the nose for a better fit! If you’re constantly touching it or adjusting your mask, that defeats the purpose...
X Do not reuse single use masks! They aren't called single use for nothing...
If you have a sewing machine at home, and you are based in the UK, you can take this survey and offer your help: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/L5B32S
GET MAKING If you want to get started but you're not sure how, here is the best tutorial we found! You'll end up with a perfectly fitted face mask, and there is a pattern to download for free!
You can use materials you have at home and get creative, but don't forget safety prevails over aesthetic.
THE BEST INITIATIVES AROUND FABRIC MASKS
EllovieUK Sells beautifully designed masks for children and adults £5 each and £2 are donated to the NHS. Riyka London “I am making cotton ‘surgical masks’ out of our fabric waste , 100% cotton which can be boiled to clean. 😷😷😷 if you would like one we would just need the postage covered, which is £2.00” Masks For Maternity A community sewing group making masks for the frontline maternity care workers at Whittington Hospital. People’s Masks “CALLING ALL MAKERS.... 1,000s of cotton masks needed. We all need to wear them. Pattern options in highlights.” An insta group showing everyone how to make masks with a sewing machine or hand sewn and provides postal addresses that need masks urgently. So let's protect each other and make it fashion! But most importantly,
S T A Y S A F E ( A N D H O M E )! Lots of love,
Julie, Olivia and Anna.