With more indoor time than ever on our hands and universal mask-wearing now a must, why not hit two birds with one stone by learning to make your own reusable face masks? The Textile and Fashion Federation of Singapore (TaFF) recently launched the Masks 4 SG initiative to contribute to the production of face masks that can be worn in low-risk environments; this will ensure that our supplies of medical masks will be reserved for the ones who need them the most—frontline healthcare workers.
Apart from producing 50,000 reusable masks, TaFF has also made two mask patterns available to download on its website—a simple pleated face mask and a customisable fitted one. In addition to instructions on how to assemble the mask, the comprehensive guide also covers required equipment, recommended materials, and care and usage tips. Now that the circuit breaker has been extended, getting crafty for a cause is a great way to pass the time and play our part.
If you want to bypass the work but still contribute, look to Maskela. Launched by Carol Chen, the founder of fashion rental platform Covetella, Maskela came about as Chen—looking to inject a little levity into a dire situation—cut up an old evening gown to fashion her own face mask.
“I wanted to make face masks more socially acceptable and provide for those who needed them. Before they were mandatory, they were associated with sickness instead of safety. I was also frustrated that so many people weren’t getting the PPE [personal protective equipment] they needed, so I wanted to do something to help however I could,” says Chen on why she decided to launch Maskela.
Now, the brand is shipping worldwide and with every mask sold, Maskela will donate 2 medical-grade masks to frontline workers. To further aid the community, the brand recently made a donation of 400 masks to migrant workers—one of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic in Singapore.
Another fashion entrepreneur pivoting to mask production is Lisa von Tang, who makes hers in silk and Egyptian cotton, complete with filter pockets. Her masks also come with a charitable component—for every unit sold, the brand will donate 5 surgical masks to Contribute.sg. Wearing a mask is our responsibility, but with these stylish alternatives, it doesn’t have to be a chore.
This article was originally published in Harpers Bazaar.