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The necessity of wearing a mask when going outside has become part of our cultural reality—and thus, by default, it has become part of our sartorial reality, too. The best masks for civilians are those made from cloth (leave surgical masks and N95s to healthcare professionals and essential workers). And while the functional significance of any protective mask makes it much more than an object of style, there’s still room—and desire, we’ve found—to inject some personality into the equation. This was made clear during a recent conversation on MR Thoughtline, during which a subscriber asked: “Where can I find an effective cloth mask with flair?”
According to the CDC, an effective face mask fits snugly but comfortably against the sides of your face, can be secured with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, allows for breathing without restriction, and can be laundered and machine dried without damaging or changing the shape. (Check out their website for tutorials on how to DIY a mask that conforms with these guidelines—they offer instructions for using a sewing machine, a T-shirt, or a bandana.) If you’d like to purchase a mask from a brand that is donating to charity–or from an independent Etsy seller making and shipping masks directly–see below for a rundown of efforts that give back, and scroll to the bottom for a curated, flair-centric shopping edit, courtesy of our market strategist Elizabeth.
Man Repeller will be donating any affiliate revenue generated from this story to MasksOn.org, a non-profit working to mass-produce reusable, sanitizable Emergency Use face shields for clinicians who do not have access to FDA-cleared equipment through June.
69 – 100% of the profit goes to the ACLU and COLOR OF CHANGE.
Abacaxi – This month, Abacaxi is donating 10% of all proceeds towards organizations supporting Black trans futures: the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, G.L.I.T.S., The Okra Project, and Meta Center.
Araks – 20% of proceeds from all mask sales will be donated to GetUsPPE, a non-profit grassroots coalition mobilized to address the PPE shortage worldwide.
Baggu – For every pack of masks sold, they’re donating a pack of surgical masks to healthcare workers.
Batsheva – 25% of proceeds go to Black Lives Matter.
Camp Collection – Donating money to a new organization monthly, beginning with National Bail Out.
Christine Alcalay – Continuing to donate to HCP and have added to their initiative to help organizations making a difference.
Clare V. – Donating non-medical grade masks to frontline and essential workers.
Collina Strada – With the purchase of one face covering you will providing three to Seeding Sovereignty.
DIOP – A portion of the proceeds from the sale of DIOP Masks will be donated to Feed the Frontlines in Detroit.
Grayson – Goal to raise $25,000 to go directly to One Fair Wage’s cash assistance program, plus donating reusable masks to the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center.
Joanna Vanderpuije – Priced at cost with an additional 25% markup added, which will all be donated to Black Lives Matter (UK).
LAMade – Over 22,000 masks donated.
LoveShackFancy – A percent of proceeds will be donated to support front line workers.
Luv Ya Mask – A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each mask will support organizations responding to the impact of the COVID-19 on black communities such as UNCF’s United Negro College Fund.
Misa – Partnered with L.A. Protects to produce non-medical grade masks for essential businesses and in limited quantities to the general public.
Re/Done – For every mask sold, five will be donated to front line heroes with the help of Donate PPE.
Rowing Blazers – Donating one mask to the NYC Food Bank for every mask sold.
Sanctuary – Sanctuary has produced over five million medical grade masks to support the medical community.
Steele Canvas x Food52 – For every mask sold, Steele Canvas and Food52 will donate a second mask to medical facilities across the U.S.—or you can choose to buy two masks and together, and they’ll donate both.
String King – Donating both two-ply washable cloth face masks and three-ply, disposable face masks for free and at reduced cost.
Susan Alexandra – Donating 15% of sales to G.L.I.T.S.
Tibi – Donating 30% of mask sales to the World Central Kitchen.
One for One: Brands Donating 1 Mask for Each Mask Ordered
And now, masks arranged lovingly, by style…
With elastic backs…
With adjustable ties…
With elastic backs…
With adjustable ties…
If you know of any other brands or designers who are rising to the occasion by making or donating masks to those in need, please feel free to shout them out in the comments—we’d love to hear about it.
Feature Photos via Phlemuns.