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Where to Buy Reusable Face Masks That Support Small Business

It’s mandatory for all residents of Victoria to wear a mask when they leave the house (or be issued with a $200 fine), while in New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging residents to also wear face masks when travelling on public transport and shopping in supermarkets.

While mask-wearing is commonplace in many Asian countries, it’s a relatively new experience for many Australians. Ultimately, wearing a mask is about protecting those around you, as well as yourself.

Should you be unwell (and not yet displaying symptoms), wearing a fabric mask lowers the risk of you passing on your illness and others potentially catching it, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Wearing a mask isn’t political and it isn’t an infringement on your basic human rights. It shows that you care about others, especially in the middle of a devastating health crisis.

How to wear a reusable mask

Reusable masks can be washed and re-worn time after time but you do need to follow a number of steps to make the mask as effective as possible. The WHO has compiled a series of do’s and don’ts when it comes to wearing a non-medical fabric mask safely. The do’s include:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the mask
  • Adjust the mask to your face, without leaving gaps on the side
  • Cover your nose, mouth and chin with the mask
  • Avoid touching the mask and only use the two ear straps when putting on and taking off
  • Clean your hands before removing your mask
  • Store the mask in a clean reusable plastic bag if it’s not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it
  • Remove the mask by the straps when taking it out of the bag

As for the don’ts, these are:

  • Don’t use a mask that looks damaged
  • Don’t wear a loose mask
  • Don’t wear it under your nose
  • Don’t remove the mask when there are people within one metre of you
  • Don’t wear a dirty or wet mask
  • Don’t share it with others

How to wash a reusable mask

While a disposable mask needs to be thrown away after one use, a resuable one can be washed multiple times and reused. The WHO recommends washing your mask at least once a day if you’re wearing it frequently, so if you head out to the shops to grab some groceries, pop it in the wash as soon as you arrive home (after you’ve washed your hands, of course).

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the best way to wash your mask is as follows:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly
  2. Remove your mask by the ear loops or if it has ties, unfasten the bottoms ones first, then the top ones
  3. If your mask has filters in it, remove them and throw them away
  4. Pop the mask directly into the washing machine and wash it using hot water
  5. Afterwards, pop the mask in the dryer on a high setting or dry in the sun

You can also hand wash your mask in hot, soapy water if that’s easier for you. Simply scrub for at least 20 seconds and dry it on high heat in a dryer or outside in the sun. Make sure to follow the washing directions that come with your mask, as these can differ between brands.

As per the WHO recommendations, store clean masks in a reusable plastic bag. As this mask-washing process is a frequent one, it could prove helpful to have two masks on rotation so you’re never caught without one should you be waiting on one to dry.

Mask wearing isn’t fun for anyone…

If you’re feeling nervous to wear a mask, remember that everyone is in the same position. Strapping a piece of fabric across your mouth isn’t a fun experience, but it’s a necessary one given the current pandemic.

Mask wearing is particularly tough for the deaf, deaf blind and the hard of hearing community, as it creates a huge communication barrier. If someone is struggling to hear you through the mask, remain patient and talk clearly. Everyone is adjusting to the change.

Where to buy a reusable mask

When purchasing a mask, try to find a worthwhile retailer to support. This way, your money is being used to support a small social enterprise or an Indigenous artist, rather than a larger retailer.

Below, we’ve rounded up a few places where you can source a face mask. As these masks are being created by small enterprises and independent artists, many of them are currently sold out or are available for pre-order due to the high demand.

The teams are making their way through the orders and attempting to make as many as possible, so keep checking back if the one you want is sold out.

AARLI

AARLI is a First Nations owned and operated business that specialises in custom made sustainable and ethical streetwear. Since it’s launch in 2014, the team at AARLI have used upcycled remnant textiles deadstock to create limited-edition apparel.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, AARLI has also pivoted to include face masks in its production. The Urban Warrior face mask is made from two layers of fabric and comes in two sizes — S/M and L/XL. The masks are made following the Victorian Government’s guidelines and can be purchased via the AARLI website for $29.

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🄱🄰🄲🄺 🄸🄽 🄿🅁🄾🄳🅄🄲🅃🄸🄾🄽 Introducing limited edition 'Urban Warrior' face mask by AARLI. PRE ORDER We are back into production for next batch to be distributed from 5 Sept 2020 DM us for wholesale / Bulk orders 😷 Masks are made from 2 layers of fabric including an inside pocket for optional for a filter: 》Outer layer = 1 piece (25 cm x 25 cm) = 'Urban Warrior' (80% PET recycled plastic bottles + 20% Hemp) 》Inner layer = 1 piece (25 cm x 25 cm) = Water-absorbing fabric (100% Cotton Poplin)  》Ear loops =  2 pieces (20 cm each) =  Black remnant elastic for straps 100% Reusable and machine washable.  There are two sizes available S/M and L/XL AARLI team has followed the VIC Government steps to making a face mask – please see link: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202007/Design%20and%20preparation%20of%20cloth%20mask_0.pdf #protectourcommunity #wearafacemask #covid19 #facemask #facemasksforsale #protectyourself #protectyourcommunity #upcycledfacemask #recycledplasticbottle #australianmade #localproduction #smallquantities #limitededition #australianmadefacemask #supportlocal

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ULO

Created by Dinzi Amobi, ULO is a brand that celebrates the fabric of West Africa. ULO means ‘Home’ in the native language of the Igbo people in Nigeria and was the dialect spoken by Amobi’s late father.

While the team at ULO usually produce clothes, they have also added face masks to their production. Designed and manufactured in Australia, these face masks have three layers — a mix of breathable African wax print cotton, linen and poly cotton. Each mask is made from deadstock fabric and comes in one standard adult size.

In even better news, 10% of all online sales at ULO will be donated to Beyond Blue to address issues associated with mental health. Head to the ULO website to shop reusable masks for $27.

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‘We did not plan on doing this…’ was the title of my note to our subscribers this morning. More in stories, but what can I say?! 320 of you requested these in the past 48hrs and we took action. Our reusable face masks are vibrant, bright and colourful – perhaps the only thing that can scare off this pandemic. • On a serious note, 10% of all online sales will be donated to @beyondblueofficial – an organisation which is very close to my family’s heart and probably working a lot harder than most of us during this stressful time. • Available to pre-order online (now) and in local stores in Melbourne (soon!). • Victoria, it’s been a scramble, but a joyful one at that! Enjoy. Dinz 🧡

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Mask Makery

When you purchase a reusable face mask from Mask Makery, you’re supporting Aussies who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People who have lost their income are able to register to “Be a Maker” and sew masks using a pattern supplied by Mask Makery.

The completed masks are sent to Mask Makery HQ to be checked, steam sanitised and packed. Mask Makery then pays $6 to the Maker per mask (40% of the sale). All masks have two layers of 100% cotton and have a third changeable inner layer where you can pop in a filter. These face masks also are mouldable across the nose for a close fit and have adjustable elastic straps.

Head to the Mask Makery website to shop these face masks and support a Maker. One mask costs $17.50 or you can grab a bundle of five for $70 (which works out to be $14 each).

Retrobub

Bronwyn Howell is the maker behind Retrobub — a Melbourne-based small business that creates handmade children’s clothing. Retrobub has also started producing reusable face masks due to the increased demand. There are a number of different patterns in small children’s, women’s and men’s sizes.

Each mask has three layers of fabric — the inner and outer layers are made of cotton while the middle layer is made of repellent polyester. The face masks cost $25 each and 10% of sales go to mental health not-for-profit organisation Beyond Blue. Head to the Retrobub website to shop these face masks.

Saving Face. Co

Saving Face. Co was born out of an increasing need for masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All masks are manufactured locally using 100% cotton and breathable bamboo and come with biodegradable packaging in order to keep the environmental footprint to an absolute minimum.

When you purchase a mask from Saving Face. Co, $3 will be donated to The Asylum Seekers Centre — a Sydney-based organisation that is committed to providing practical and personal support for people seeking asylum. Head to the Saving Face. Co website to shop the reusable masks. Prices range from $28 to $32.

P.S. For fans of Call Me By Your Name, check out the peachy-themed mask aptly named “Elio”.

Clothing the Gap

Clothing The Gap is an Indigenous Australian-owned and led social enterprise based in Victoria. Managed by health professionals, Clothing The Gap celebrates Aboriginal people and culture in its designs. The label’s name comes from a play on the words “Closing the Gap”, an Australian Government health initiative that helps close the life expectancy fab between First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians.

Clothing The Gap is currently selling four-ply reusable and reversible masks that come in two sizes (small/medium and medium/large). 100% of profits from items purchased on Clothing The Gap actively support Aboriginal health promotion and education programs throughout Victoria, with the brand currently backing Spark Health Australia.

Shop the Reversible Reusable Face Mask via the Clothing The Gap website for $35.

Space2b

Based in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Space2b is a social design enterprise which supports newly arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum to become financially independent. Space2b assists these people in their creative enterprise and facilitates workplace training and business mentoring.

The team at Space2b is currently making reusable face masks for men, women and children that contain three layers of 100% cotton and are available in a number of fun prints and plain colours.

Head to the Space2b website to support the team’s work and purchase a face mask for $15.

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Phew!! We have had so many requests for face masks! Our darling customers- thank you so much for being patient.. We have 3 different (masked and sanitised) designers and makers sewing like crazy to make more washable face masks for you. They will be available online on Wednesday. Don’t forget about click and collect – order online and pick up from the shop. We will fast track orders for collection on Thursday this week. Order online Wednesday(15th) and you can collect on Thursday(16th)10-5. *Please remember to wash your masks before you use them* Lots of love and stay safe. . #togetherwemakeadifference #nonprofit #southsidemelbourne #facemasks #handcrafted #artisanmade #ethicalshopping #supportlocal #newmigrants #refugees #melbourneart #makersgonnamake #artmelbourne #3182 #Space2b #Space2bSocialDesign #nonprofit #chapelstreet #melbournetextiles #handmade #wearthechange #ethicalfashion #supportlocal #Australianmade #australiandesigner #artistsoninstagram #screenprinting #artmelbourne

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The Normal

Made in Melbourne, the reusable masks created by The Normal are made with two layers of 100% cotton and a layer of non-woven interfacing and are comfortable and breathable.

The masks were developed based on research from the University of Cambridge and are reusable, washable and made from compostable fabric. $2 of each mask sale will be donated to Beyond Blue, to support those struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.

Head to The Normal website to shop these masks for $20.

The Ark

Melbourne-based brand The Ark makes small runs of locally and ethically designed clothes and accessories for women. The team at The Ark have recently pivoted to begin making and selling reusable face masks with elastic ear loops.

Sold in packs of five assorted colours, these masks have two layers of 100% cotton and are breathable, reusable and machine washable. For every pack purchased, The Ark will donate one mask to Impact for Women to benefit women experiencing domestic violence.

You can purchase the 2 Layer Elastic Mask 5pk via The Ark website for $50.

Stitched by Megan

Stitched by Megan was created by event manager, Megan, who has spent the last few months making masks to support the local community. She is selling her masks via Etsy and is also donating $5 from any sale of her Etsy shop to Food Bank Australia or The Smith Family Australia.

The masks are reusable and made from 100% woven cotton. They come in a variety of different colours and patterns and have an in-built pocket for a filter. Megan’s masks only cost $15 — an extremely affordable amount, considering $5 is being donated to charity.

Head to Stitched by Megan on Etsy to purchase a mask.

Here and There Makers

Here and There Makers is a social enterprise that donates 100% of profits to support Day for Girls Ferntree Gully — an organisation that provides sustainable sanitary hygiene kits, health education and micro-enterprise to women in need around the world. The team at Day for Girls also educate and enable the local community to live a more environmentally friendly manner.

There is an emphasis on upcycled, zero-waste and handmade items sold by Here and There Makers, which makes the team’s pivot to making reusable masks an understandable one. The masks are made from two layers of 100% cotton and one layer of non-woven interfacing, have a moldable wire nose piece and comes in three different sizes — small, medium and large.

When you purchase a mask, $2 will be donated directly to Days for Girls FTG. Head to the Here and There Makers website to shop the Face Masks for $9.95.

SisterWorks

SisterWorks is a Melbourne-based not-for-profit social enterprise that supports women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants so they can improve their confidence, mental wellbeing, sense of belonging and economic outlook.

Purchasing a fabric face mask will help support the team at SisterWorks and allow them to continue their great work.

The reusable masks created by SisterWorks have three layers, including a layer of poly-cotton, one of 100% cotton and an external layer that is water-resistant. Simply pop in a filter and you’re ready to go.

Head to the SisterWorks website to purchase a men’s or women’s Reusable Washable Face Mask for $18 each.

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‼️SISTERWORKS DHHS COMPLIANT REUSABLE CLOTH MASKS‼️ The Australian government advised that face masks are effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 😷. The Department of Human Services (DHHS) then issued a guideline of making reusable cloth masks 🧵. SisterWorks have created a face mask that satisfies the requirements issued by DHHS ✅. . FEATURES: 📍 3 layers 📍 One external layer of water-resistant fabric 📍 One middle layer of poly-cotton 📍 One internal 100% cotton layer 📍 Machine washable and reusable 📍 Elastic ear loops (white or black depending on availability) 📍 Dimensions – about 26 cm wide x 15 cm high (approximate size for an adult – these are individually made, so there may be variations in shape & dimensions) 📍 Designed with a pocket to insert additional layers or filters (PM 2.5 filter fit perfectly in it). ***Additional layers or filters not included*** . 👉🏼 For more than 20 face masks please email [email protected] . . #reusablefacemasks #DHHS #facemask #mask #sustainableliving #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocal #supporthandmade #Sisterworks #WorkEmpowersWomen #melbourne #madeinmelbourne #madeinaustralia #Togetherwearestrong #womenofcolour #socialenterprise #nonforprofit #community #sisterhood #empoweringwomen #girlpower #culturaldiversity #workfromhome #shoponline #richmond #bendigo

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Yarli Creative

Yarli Creative is the brainchild of Madison Connors, a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamilaroi woman. According to the Yarli Creative website, drawing, painting and being creative provides a sense of healing for Connors and is a way for her to share, teach and create artworks that provoke conversations about her experiences as an Aboriginal woman.

Connors has created a series of Protective Triple Layer Washable Masks in a number of artworks and 40% of the profits from the pre-sale of these masks will be donated to Elizabeth Morgan House.

According to Yarli Creative, “Elizabeth Morgan House are proudly an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. Who provide refuge accommodation and specialist family violence services to Aboriginal women and their children. Their support also extends to parents of Aboriginal children, as well as partners and ex-partners of Aboriginal people.”

Head to the Yarli Creative website to shop the Washable Masks for $35.

Second Stitch

Based in Melbourne, Second Stitch is a not-for-profit social enterprise that employs women from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to produce handmade products and gift. The team at Social Stitch also provide clothing alternations and repairs as well as workshops and training in Certificate III in Clothing and Textile Production.

Made from 100% new cotton, the Fabric Face Masks from Second Stitch are comfortable and breathable and give you the ability to add an additional filter. Each mask also comes with two elastic pieces which you will need to tie a knot in to find the perfect fit, so you can customise it to your face.

Each mask sold will directly provide meaningful employment opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged members of the community. Head to the Second Stitch website to shop the Fabric Face Masks for $18.

Alperstein Designs

Alperstein Designs is an Australian owned company that has been designing and manufacturing lifestyle products since 1996. The team at Alperstein Designs collaborate with designers to produce unique products such as the Aboriginal Art Resulable Face Masks.

These face masks featured feature artworks reproduced under license from Warlukurlangu Artists. Established in 1985, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a not-for-profit organisation that is 100% Aboriginal-owned by its artists from the remote desert communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi in Central Australia.

Each mask comes with one disposable mask filter, which can be slipped into the fabric for added protection. Made from 100% cotton material, these masks also have adjustable nose wire, to make mask-wearing slightly more comfortable.

Head to the Alperstein Designs website to shop the Reusable Face Masks for $12.95.

The Social Outfit

The Social Outfit is an independently-accredited, ethical trading social enterprise that provides employment and training the fashion industry to people from refugee and new migrant communities in clothing production, retail, design and marketing.

Any income generated from products is directed back into the organisation in order to deliver on the social mission of the organisation. And, every time you purchase one of The Social Outfit’s B1-G1 Reusable Face Masks, one is donated to a person in need via a charity partner.

Head to The Social Outfit website to shop the B1-G1 Reusable Face Masks for $27.

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📢 An update on B1-G1 Face Mask orders 📢! ⠀ ⠀ We are working as hard as we can to produce and manufacture B1-G1 Face Masks to fulfil all online orders 💪! Due to this increase in demand, there will be a 5-7 business day delay on orders being shipped out, from the time of purchase. ⠀ ⠀ Due to fabric availability, we are currently producing our B1-G1 Face Masks out of a range of remnant fabrics, some of which that are not pictured on our website (we will have images of the new prints and fabrics up very soon!), however rest assured that they are all equally fabulous and unique and for those ordering more than one mask, we will do our best to ensure you receive a range of colours and prints 🙇💙💚💛! ⠀ ⠀ ✨ Thank you for your continuous support and patience – we hope to have all of your orders out to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, stay safe and stay stylish 💞!

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