Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would begin a search to purchase face masks for my family. If you had said to me 8 weeks ago that my government would recommend that its citizens wear face masks whilst out in public, I would have said “you’re having a laugh!”. But, life has changed radically and public health measures are now the norm.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggest healthy individuals should consider wearing a face mask when using public transport, visiting busy closed spaces, such as supermarkets and for certain workplaces and professions that involve physical proximity to many other people.
So, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be wearing masks and given the prevalence of mask selfies, it’s likely that masks will start to become fashion items, rather than merely functional.
As I began my search, I discovered there are three general types of masks, cloth, surgical and respiratory. We have been asked to not purchase surgical and respiratory/filtering face piece masks as these are required for our frontline medical staff.
The cloth face mask for my family it is!
The cloth face mask is a non-medical cloth mask or face covering which will not prevent you from breathing in respiratory droplets that carry a virus, like Covid-19. However, cloth masks promote good cough etiquette by limiting how far the virus spreads when coughing. It will help to protect others, if you are infected with symptoms or pre-symptomatic (before symptoms develop). Cloth face masks can be machine washed and dried regularly. However, as with all types of fashion, cloth masks are available from many different retailers starting at various price points.
Save – The Homemade Cloth Mask
The most wallet friendly option. You can use a sock, bandana or T-shirt to create a homemade mask. Here is a link to a previous article we did on how to create a mask at home.
For additional hints and tips, check out the videos below:
Save – The High Street Mask
Retailers have been quick to react and are now selling some very fashionable and reasonably priced cloth masks. In Ireland, where I live, retailers that caught my eye are:
Bébhínn. A bespoke retailer, specializing in fine Irish products. This mask is made with Irish linen and looks fab too. Ships in Ireland.
If you check within your locality you will most likely find a retailer/dressmaker making masks, so you can support your local economy whilst keeping your community safe.
VistaPrint: Offer a great selection for all the family and their masks have a filter too. The masks are washable and you can buy packs of filters, €14 per mask and €10 for a 10 pack of filters, they are reasonably priced and ship internationally.
The etsy.com landing page has become all about the mask! The company disclosed that between April 4 and 6, people searched for masks on the site an average of 9 times per second, totaling more than 2 million searches. Supply on Etsy has also exploded, as the number of mask sellers on the site increased fivefold in the last week of March and the first week of April.
Splurge – The Designer Mask
Designers have been in the cloth/fabric-mask game for a long time. Billie Eilish wore a Gucci face covering to the Grammys before the coronavirus was a pandemic.
The options are endless and I have listed some below
Splurge – Wearable Art Mask
Artists observe and reflect their environment and Zhijun Wang, an artist based in Beijing, started to wear face masks in response to the pollution in the City.
But no mask fit right, so in 2014 he started making his own masks out of things like sneakers, which featured flexible, breathable materials by nature. The trade became his art form. Three years later, his mask made from a Yeezy 350 v2 would be acquired by the MoMA.
Each one off bespoke mask retails for US$5,000 and he only makes 52 a year.
In response to COVID-19, Wang has developed a new template, inspired by his own sneaker masks, for anyone to make an haute mask of their own, using just about any textile they have around. He calls it Maskology: Everyone Can Make a Mask.
So there you have it, a selection of masks to suit all styles and pockets! Once your mask goes on, send us a selfie by tagging us @deetoxtoday.