The fashion world is stepping up in a time of need: Countless companies are now making, selling and donating non-medical grade face masks.
Demand has soared in recent weeks, in part because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) masks in public settings — including your quick trips to the pharmacy or grocery store — to help slow the spread of COVID-19. PPE masks are usually made from breathable a fabric like cotton and differ from the surgical masks and N-95 respirators that experts say should be reserved for health care workers who are caring for the sick.
In times of crisis, it’s heartwarming to see companies we love giving back using the tools and skills they know best. Nordstrom, the largest employer of tailors in the country, has trained its alterations teams to make face masks to distribute to health care workers, while designer Christian Siriano’s small team of couture sewers is making 2,000 cloth masks per day. Dior has similarly pivoted to making masks for those on the front lines in France. Burberry is using its global supply chain network to fast-track the delivery of 100,000 surgical masks to the U.K. National Health Service’s medical staff, and Prada began the production of masks and medical overalls at its factory in Italy.
And lots of brands are selling directly to consumers — including some that donate masks to health care workers and others in need with every purchase. New to wearing face masks? The CDC recommends washing them regularly (with detergent, in the washing machine); not touching your eyes, nose or mouth when removing them; and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer immediately after taking them off.Below are just a few of the companies that are producing and selling non-medical face masks to help fight the global pandemic. Due to high demand, product supply may be low or sold out and shipping might be delayed — we’re updating this story frequently to keep you up to date.