Wearing face masks when outside our homes is one simple way we can protect ourselves and others amidst COVID-19. Masks help limit the spread of droplets emitted into the air and are most effective when everyone is wearing one. So if you’re going to wear a mask, why not choose a reusable mask that reduces environmental impact and makes a (sustainable) fashion statement at the same time? Thankfully, some brands are shifting production efforts to craft affordable face masks out of cotton, hemp, deadstock fabric, and other sustainable materials. See below my favorite sustainable face masks.
1. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women’s clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The brand rates ‘Great’, making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe.
Recognising a need for masks in the community, and to preserve medical grade PPE for health workers, A.BCH made over 350 masks for our customers and, after some tweaks, added them to their core range! The result is a 2 ply 100% organic cotton mask, crafted from a thick, naturally moisture repelling rib outer and light jersey inner.
3. The Social Outfit
Buy one mask from the Social Outfit and give one to a person in need. Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, the Social Outfit has a social mission to employ and train workers from refugee and new migrant communities, you can be confident your purchase is directly contributing to a better life for minorities who need it most.
Sustainably made from ‘offcuts’ which would have otherwise ended up in landfill, Bhumi’s face masks are available in a range of tightly knitted jacquard patterns for double layering. The fabric has no toxic chemicals or dyes and is easily washable.
Dorsu creates everyday basics and key signature favourites that form the core of any conscious wardrobe. Shop their fabric face masks for personal preventative measures, featuring adjustable around-the-head straps, and made with a soft cotton jersey to ensure comfort.
‘Great’ Aussie brand Etiko is making organic cotton triple-layered Fairtrade facemasks for pre-order, available in three sizes for men, women, and children. They are one of our top-rated brands, and it’s fantastic to see them distributing some of their resources to this important cause.
7. The Social Studio
As COVID-19 is unfortunately still lingering over a lot of our heads, The Social Studio have decided to redirect their manufacturing efforts towards creating DHHS-compliant reusable cloth face masks for the community at cost price. They restocking at 9am each day, and the masks are available in two sizes and made from 100% cotton.
Affordable, ethical and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a ‘Great’ rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men and kids. Armedangels quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. They have designed organic cotton mix masks that catch larger droplets when speaking or coughing, and every purchase raises money for Doctors Without Borders—they are currently halfway to their goal of one million euros!
9. Where Does It Come From?
Where Does It Come From? creates clothing and textiles that are kind – to the planet, the makers and to you too. You can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are helping others and our planet through your buying choices. After all, it’s cool to care!
Springkode is a revolutionary fashion hub that lets customers buy from a curated network of luxury textile factories. They have stocked a wide range of reusable masks that have been tested as per the European Norms for particle retention capability and breathability even after multiple uses and washing cycles.
11. Rachel Craven
For biodegradable, sustainable, and stunning linen apparel, Rachel Craven is our go-to. The double-layered masks are also made with anti-bacterial linen and come with additional space for a replaceable filter. Sewn in downtown Los Angeles, the company will give away a mask to LA-based nonprofit A New Way of Life Reentry Project with each purchase. International shipping options.
12. Selva Negra
Selva Negra is the ethical, sustainable, and vibrant brainchild of two Latina designers, offering collections made in downtown Los Angeles. For comfortable masks that go around your entire head—not just your ears—you can find options for sizes and patterns; plus, for every five masks sold, one will be provided to healthcare workers nationwide. International shipping options.
Baukjen’s non-medical face masks are handmade at family-run factories in Portugal from 100% cotton deadstock fabric. With every pack you purchase (packs come with 4 adult-sized masks and 1 child-sized mask), the sustainable brand will send you an additional pack to gift to your neighbors. Free UK delivery with shipping options to 120+ international countries.
OhSevenDays was started by Australian-Canadian Megam Mummery to promote slow fashion and the ‘power of circularity’. Based in Istanbul, the brand reclaims end of roll fabrics from the city’s garment factories and creates sharp, everyday womenswear that’s as wearable as it is ethical. These cute masks are made from two layers of upcycled scrap fabrics, and can help to inhibit the transmission of COVID-19.
15. Whimsy + Row
This LA-based brand makes truly affordable ethical fashion that looks great—a rare find indeed. By limiting each garment to short runs, Whimsy + Row utilise deadstock fabric, reduce packaging waste and take care of precious water resources. The brand has made 100% cotton machine washable masks that are good for those practicing social distancing, and for every mask purchase, one is donated to locations that need them most like women’s centers.