While we’re exiting the circuit breaker soon, wearing a face mask will remain mandatory.
We’ll soon be receiving new and improved face masks from the government, but there’s no harm in shopping for more, especially since they’ll be in heavy rotation once we transit into Phase One post circuit breaker. With the list below, we’ve recommended masks with striking prints that will seamlessly fit into your wardrobe from a mix of local brands and high-end labels. Note that cloth masks are in no way comparable to medical-grade masks when it comes to protection, but many of them listed below come with filters so you can have peace of mind.
Local tailor CYC made headlines for producing 300,000 face masks that supported its Masks for Migrants project, an initiative that it teamed up with Migrant Workers’ Centre. Its reusable face masks are made from premium quality cotton fabric from renowned shirting mills. Its Corporate Series features solid block colours in classic oxford fabrics while its Technicolour series uses an array of patterns and prints sourced from hand-painted fabrics by Liberty London. Each mask comes equipped with an N95 hydrophobic water-repellent filter, and an inner pocket to hold this insert.
Copenhagen-based fashion label Helmstedt uses up-cycled deadstock fabrics from its Spring/Summer 2020 line. As a result, each individual mask is unique. The profit from the sales of these masks go to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Solidarity Response Fund.
Olive & Ankara
Local label Olive & Ankara is loved for its African wax prints on its large headwraps and dresses. Now, extra fabrics from its collections have been turned into reusable masks. Breathable, washable and reversible, these masks come with a pocket to fit a surgical mask for even more protection. Ten percent of the revenue will be donated to charities that help migrant workers.
Singapore-based label Ans.ein is hard at work on an initiative to distribute 2,500 reusable masks to essential service workers. While you can order masks in solid colours or in subtle abstract art prints, it’s the batik-printed masks in varying floral and porcelain motifs, as well as the Seigaiha Japanese wave motifs that’ll leave a deep impression. Made up of two layers of cotton, and one layer of waterproof fabric to protect the user from water droplets, they’re available in an array of sizes.
Nicolas Laville Couture
Nicholas Laville kicked off his career as a couturier working for Anne Fontaine, Kenzo and Christian Lacroix and he now has an atelier based in Singapore. He recently created 55 masks out of new and scrap materials in fabrics like batik. A total of 80 percent of the proceeds went to Food from the Heart SG. While all stocks have run out, we’re hoping there will be a future restock.
Christian Siriano has gone above and beyond for healthcare workers in New York. Answering to a call by New York governor Andrew Cuomo for local businesses to produce face masks, Siriano transformed his atelier into an assembly line that churned out thousands of masks. Funded through donations from friends, Siriano went on to donate more than 50,000 masks and is still in the thick of production. For the public, he created a range of high-end studded and embellished ones, priced at USD$595, a sum that went straight to his donations. These are currently out of stock, so follow him on Instagram to be first in line for future launches.
Sustainable brand Reformation from the US started the Millions of Masks initiative that brought local manufacturers together to create five million non-medical masks for households, freeing up medical grade masks for healthcare workers. The masks — available for purchase— are made of tencel, viscose, and cotton blends. As the brand works with the materials they have on hand, you never know what’s going to arrive in your mail box. If you’d like to contribute to Millions of Masks, you can purchase and donate a pack of five non-medical masks, and Reformation will distribute them to communities in need.
A silk mask sure feels like heaven on your skin. Kes NYC, a contemporary New York brand, knows this and has created a line of washable ones. These double-layered masks come equipped with adjustable drawstrings and an interior pocket for filter inserts that can provide protection from airborne particles. These are available in 100 percent solid-coloured or printed silk charmeuse. For every face mask purchased, KES will donate one face mask to a healthcare professional.
Main image courtesy of Kes NYC