Fashion designers take on safety wear


Photo by Public Domain

Face masks feature cool artwork and designs.

The international COVID-19 pandemic has caused several big changes in society. Since the coronavirus began spreading at the end of 2019, it has also led to worldwide panic. People are stocking up on various supplies, including basic necessities like food and toilet paper. 

Not only are things that we use every day becoming more popular, but there are also other non-staple items being added to people’s shopping lists. Fabric masks and latex gloves have become a widely desired product, and with these items being in such high demand, shortages have been inevitable.  

Although there are periodic shortages of toilet paper, food, and masks, many people are banding together to help out. Philanthropists are donating money and resources, chefs are giving to food banks, celebrities are hosting fundraisers and even some of the most reputable fashion designers are trying to help by creating and distributing face masks. With the steady decrease of cloth masks in stock, designers are prioritizing production for health care providers first, with masks for the general public to follow. 

It started off small, with only a select few contributing, but then it quickly became more popular with designers agreeing that their teams could help build the supply for Americans looking to stay safe in public. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Prada and Neiman Marcus have stepped in to make a difference. Most of the masks are being made out of extremely thick cotton to provide the utmost protection. The masks are washable and reusable, which will be very helpful for the environment with many paper and/or plastic masks getting thrown away every day. 

Not only are there well-known brands and designers making these masks, but there are also many DIY designers and crafters getting in on the trend. According to the CEO of popular online retailer Etsy, there have been over 10,000 crafters who have donated masks in just a few days. The masks being sold on Etsy are homemade and they are encouraging many others to make them as well. 

Although none of these masks are medical-grade or made from N95 material, they are still very helpful. It is very important for people to have some type of protection. Masks were first being made for workers and medical providers, but now anyone can buy them. 

The most common masks are broken down into three categories: surgical, N95 and cloth. Surgical or medical masks are both disposable and cover the mouth and nose from contact with many things, whether it be sprays, spit or anything with germs. Medical masks also filter out large particles throughout them.

N95 masks, on the other hand, are proven to actually be more protective than traditional medical masks. The name N95 was given to the mask because it is supposed to block 95% of small particles. These types of masks filter out large and small particles alike. Unlike medical masks, there are ways to disinfect N95s. 

Along with the other two options, cloth masks are also better at blocking both small and large particles than nothing. These masks can be made from cheap and common materials. There are many websites featuring tutorials on how to make the cloth masks, so for people with no access to any other masks, This is a decent idea. 

Despite the fact that these fashion designers and Etsy retailers are not specialists in medical care, they are still helping. Of course, there are many different ways to protect yourself and others in addition to providing and wearing a mask when in public. Washing your hands often, remaining a minimum of six feet away from those not in your immediate household and covering your mouth and nose are just a few ways to stay safe. No matter your age or profession, this will take everyone becoming more knowledgeable and practicing these basic steps, and if you can do it all while looking fashionable, what is there to lose?