Update, May 6, 2020: As stay-at-home orders come to an end and businesses across the U.S. begin to re-open, a number of states are taking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear a cloth face-covering in public to the next level by making it a requirement. This is in effect in the following seven states so far: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.
Update, April 4, 2020: The CDC issued a recommendation that President Donald Trump shared on Friday: they are now advising everyone to wear a cloth face-covering mask in public to slow the spread of coronavirus.
This story was originally published on April 3, 2020
It seems like each new day of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with a hearty dose of surprising, overwhelming, and sometimes even conflicting information about how to navigate your way through this crisis — and yesterday was no different. While the efficacy of non-medical face masks is still under debate, President Donald Trump said we may soon hear revised nationwide recommendations on why we should be wearing them to help stop the spread of the virus, despite initial claims that universal mask-wearing is unnecessary. As a result of this update, you can expect a massive spike in the production and purchase of cloth face coverings within the lifestyle and fashion spaces. In fact, we’re already seeing brands pivot to making coverage options more accessible to all. And while we can’t tell you whether or not you need a non-medical face mask to protect yourself and your loved ones, we can help you shop masks online if you choose to seek one out.
To be clear, a cloth face mask is much different than a surgical mask or an N95 mask, which is the kind of highly protective respirator equipment so desperately needed among healthcare professionals right now. Anyone who isn’t fighting on the frontlines of this health crisis that is in possession of extra N95 or surgical masks is encouraged to send them directly to those in need. You can also donate to organizations helping to produce, procure, and distribute medical-grade face coverings approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to hospitals in highly affected areas.
Now that we’re all on board with this distinction, you may be left wondering: what can a non-medical face mask really do for me, and do I even need to buy one? According to the CDC’s website, at least for right now, you don’t need to wear one unless you’re caring for someone who is sick. Although, the CDC has shared that 25% of people who get the virus could be asymptomatic, so being overly thoughtful by covering your face, might not be a bad idea. And of course, if you’re the one that’s sick, however, properly wearing a face mask is advised for when you are around others.
Still, these guidelines haven’t stopped government officials like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti from advising all citizens of the metropolis to wear some form of face-covering when making trips to essential places like the grocery store or pharmacy. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has also urged anyone who is immunocompromised and/or over the age of 70 to wear a mask at all times, along with those individuals in their company.
In addition to the thousands of DIY templates and tutorials available online to make your own mask out of everything from shop towels to t-shirt fabrics. Companies like Reformation and Sanctuary are also reacting quickly by organizing local manufacturers to produce non-medical masks using fabrics from their warehouses. These efforts don’t just allow for more people to buy masks for personal use, it prevents them from purchasing the medical-grade materials our heroes on the frontlines require to do their jobs safely.
So in anticipation of an announcement that widespread mask-wearing may, in fact, be an effective complement to all that hand-washing and social-distancing you’ve gotten so good at to curb the spread of this disease, we’ve put together a list of resources where you can find non-medical masks online. They tend to sell out quickly, so we’ll continue updating this page to keep you informed about the best places to make your purchase. And don’t forget: It’s still considered best practice to not touch your face when wearing your mask, and you should try with all your might not to mess with it once it’s on!
Rent The Runway developed its own protective masks (for purchase, not for rent… just to be clear!) with an eye towards fashion and sustainability, so they’re washable and reusable. Made from 100% cotton or cotton blend and lined in cotton/poly, the fabric used has been salvaged as scraps from prior production runs or purchased as unused surplus from textile mills. Plus, for each 5-pack sold, RTR will give a 5-pack to a community in need through its partnership with Project Renewal.
To order a pack of 5 non-medical grade, reusable masks, click here.
While you won’t find any medical-grade products available on Etsy, many of its crafty vendors have shifted to selling handmade masks and other fabric gear that serves as a barrier between you and your surroundings.
Reformation has partnered with the City of Los Angeles on LA Protects, an initiative to organize local manufacturers to make five million non-medical masks. You can pick some up for yourself or donate to someone in need directly through the retailer’s website.
Known for creating luxurious and durable fabrics, Gryphon has applied that same commitment to quality to its launch of washable and reusable face masks. The dual-layer style is crafted from soft cotton combined with a polyester that is enhanced with silver-infused fibers to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. This is also a company you could feel good about supporting right now, as Gryphon has already provided nearly 500,000 masks to frontline and essential workers.
Global apparel and accessories brand VIDA has shifted gears amid the pandemic to help get protective face masks in people’s hands. Their masks are breathable, washable, and made of two layers of 100% cotton. The design also features a carbon filter, integrated metal nose-piece, and adjustable ear loops for a snug, protective fit. What’s more, Vida is donating 10% of proceeds to the SF-Marin Food Bank and Food Bank NYC to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
In the spirit of doing whatever possible to service their customers, keep business healthy, and keep some of their domestic factories going during this challenging time, Rag & Bone announced they have started to make non-medical masks in the Garment Districts of New York and Los Angeles. Pre-order your masks now to be shipped out beginning May 29. Plus, $5 from each purchase will go to City Harvest.
With every purchase of a Reusable Cloth Mask from global tech accessories brand Casetify, the company will donate a surgical mask to a medical responder in need. To kick off this effort, Casetify is starting with a donation of 10,000 masks to Direct Relief and will continue to donate a mask for every cloth mask sold.
This premium denim brand has also joined LA Protects and the City of Los Angeles by producing 100% cotton, reusable non-medical face masks in their LA-based manufacturing facilities. By increasing the quantity of non-medical face masks available to local communities, the company’s goal is to help ensure that there are enough medical-grade masks available to the healthcare and essential workers who need them most. For ever Paige face mask 4 pack sold, the company is donating an additional pack of non-medical masks to be distributed to those on the frontlines.
To order a pack of 4 non-medical face masks, click here.
The retailer known best for its fashion-forward clothing labels and glossy Instagram campaigns is now offering 2-packs of re-usable face masks with elastic straps (with the option of a trendy print, of course!) from the brand Onzie — now available on pre-order.
This L.A.-based clothing manufacturer and design space is making masks from a thick, French terry fabric in 100% cotton. The adjustable nose forms to the contours of your face for a more comfortable wear, and every purchase made on Los Angeles Apparel’s site helps fund the company’s ability to donate masks to other essential services while providing living wages for its staff.
With the financial support of its community, Tanya Taylor is currently producing nearly 30,000 masks to be donated to hospitals in New York and Canada. In line with CDC’s latest recommendations, the fashion brand has now launched consumer face masks created from excess fabric. They are currently available for pre-order and will ship between May 18 and June 15. With every pack purchase, Tanya Taylor will donate the funds to create one non-medical grade mask for donation.
To pre-order a pack of 3 non-medical Protective Face Masks, click here.
Since the beginning of this outbreak, fashion brand Alice + Olivia has been mobilizing its teams to create and distribute protective masks to hospitals and communities in need. Now, they’re helping to stop community spread with non-medical protective masks made available to the public. The masks are made from jersey material for reuse, wash-ability, and comfort. Plus, for every mask sold, Alice + Olivia will donate one to the medical community and beyond.
To order a Staceface Protective mask, click here.
Another one of our favorite premium denim brands, Mother Denim, is also doing its part to arm citizens with the non-medical coverings they need to help stop the spread while also contributing to COVID-19 relief efforts. Mother Denim’s masks are made with heritage prints from years past and are lined with 100% cotton for a nicer feel on your skin. They also wrap around the head instead of the ears for extra comfort. For every mask set sold from April 10 — April 30, $10 will be contributed to No Kid Hungry who is making sure kids get the food they need right now. These masks may sell out fast, but they’re restocked regularly so keep checking back to place your order.
To order a pack of 2 non-medical face masks, click here.
This NYC-based sport bag brand has launched an initiative to get non-medical grade masks to as many people as possible. Reusable, machine-washable, and designed for comfort, these masks — available for pre-order for a ship date range of May 3rd through June 1 — are constructed from excess fabric cuttings of Caraa bags to reduce waste and make use of these leftover pieces for good.
L.A.-based brand Sanctuary has launched its Essential Lifestyle Masks for consumers, designed to create a barrier to protect you from your surroundings. These are currently available on pre-order. At the same time, the company is using its resources and the profits of its lifestyle masks to produce over 5 million N95 masks to support the medical community (N95s are not for sale) as they battle this virus on the frontlines across the nation.
Banana Republic has rallied to produce fabric face masks in response to the updated CDC guidelines to help slow the spread of the virus and raise money for those in need. Available online, these reusable face masks are made of a soft microfiber material with over-the-ear straps. Plus, for every mask sold from today trough July 31, the company will donate $10 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, guaranteeing a minimum donation of $20,000. While their first batch of masks sold out within an hour of launch, the retailer will be restocking this May.
To order a reusable Microfiber Face Mask when they’re restocked in May, click here.
If you need to make a bulk order, you can shop wholesale emergency essentials like disposable and civilian face masks, first aid kits, thermometers, flashlights, sanitizer packages and more from Discount Mugs. Some orders do require a hefty minimum, so be wary of that when making a purchase, and please leave the FFP2 general care face masks and any other medical-grade options for the professionals that need them the most.
To order a pack of disposable 3-layer civilian masks (minimum is 50), click here.
Youth masks suitable for ages 5 to 15 made by the trendy brand Jeune Otte are now available for purchase via children’s clothing and lifestyle e-commerce site, Maisonette. Each mask purchased will allow for Maisonette to donate 5 handmade, reusable adult masks to those in need during the COVID19 pandemic.
To order a reusable youth cloth face mask, click here.
For a limited time, fast fashion brand Shein is creating masks and other face coverings sold at the lowest possible cost to cover production. The fabric masks come in all sorts of prints and can be washed and used repeatedly.
Due to the nationwide shortage of face masks, this organic mattress brand has designated a portion of its factory to face mask production. They are making these masks as a service to the community and are providing them at cost.
To order a pack of 6 organic cotton face masks, click here.
This e-commerce platform offers a wide selection of quality products from premium brands across Asia, including disposable and reusable cloth face masks — a number of which are still in stock.
The outdoor gear and adventurer’s shop doesn’t stock face masks but it does have an assortment of double-lined balaclavas and face/neck coverings. Look for ones that are double-lined or add an extra swatch of woven fabric underneath for an extra layer.
Custom Ink, known best as a resource for making personalized apparel, is selling cloth face masks from one of their t-shirt manufacturers who has shifted its production capability. The single-ply face masks are made of ultra-soft jersey fabric for a comfortable and breathable fit.
Forever21 is making a range of printed face masks from its redirect sourced fabrics. The fast fashion brand is also partnering with the organization Family Promise to donate non-medical face masks and help vulnerable, low-income families continue to receiving the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. While their first round of masks sold out quickly, the retailer will be re-stocking on May 1st.
The lifestyle brand known for selling stuff-to-make-you-laugh is now producing reusable, washable polyester designs made to hold a standard disposable earloop mask, or to be worn alone as a simple cloth mask. And with motif options like “Stressed Opossum” and “Tiger with a Crown,” you can’t help but smile a bit when adding one to your cart. Plus, everything on Look Human is 30% right now with the code SPRING30.
This popular sustainable bedding company is now producing GOTS® organic certified reusable face masks using two layers of 100% organic cotton canvas and two tie straps. They do not use elastic or plastic and are sold at cost, not for profit.
USA Sewn Masks was created to employ textile workers currently without jobs to sew non-medical face coverings. All the proceeds from the sale of these masks are donated to Flexport, an organization that gets PPE to healthcare workers. In addition choosing from a variety of fun prints (otters! cats!), Refinery29 readers can enjoy a 20% discount off their purchase using the code REF29.
If you’re feeling crafty, grab some supplies (elastic, fabric, and a sewing kit), a pattern, or freestyle a mask of your own. You can even make a mask using a bandana and some coffee filters — no sewing required!
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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