As communities across Canada slowly ease their way into reopening, it’s important that we don’t forget the lessons we’ve had to learn the past few months in order to get where we are today. What does that mean? Social distancing, liberal hand washing and the proper use of face masks.
While the non-medical variety may not protect the wearer from coronavirus itself, it can help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets when worn properly and act as an effective hand-to-mouth barrier. Chances are, you’ll need more than one reusable mask in your rotation this summer. Why not go local? Here are a few options to consider.
Historically, silver has widely been used for its antibacterial properties. In fact, NASA uses the material to protect its crew against microbes, as well as for its anti-moisture and anti-odour properties. With this in mind, outerwear purveyor Kanuk weaves silver thread into the fabric of its masks, which also features malleable wire for ease of wear, comes in seven colours and three different sizes. $30
Known for their luxurious silk products, Toronto-based Cilque is using their 100% mulberry silk charmeuse to create face masks that are stylish and soft to the touch. The hypoallergenic masks feature a filter pocket, adjustable ear loops and nose clip for comfort. For every mask purchased, CILQUE will donate a portion of proceeds to Children’s Aid Foundation to help support our most vulnerable youth at this time. $29
Canada’s west coast is responsible for some of our most popular fashion exports: lululemon, Aritzia, Arc’teryx, Herschel, wings + horns, and Reigning Champ. Known for their supply of quality athletic wear, the Vancouver-based brand has crafted handmade non-medical masks made from breathable COOLMAX Pique, a durable and flexible material lined with a soft Pima Jersey interior, and a built-in pocket for filters. Complimentary with all orders (while supplies last).
Ergonomically designed and water resistant, the M1 by MACKAGE face cover is engineered for breathability. Made from upcycled 100% cotton material, M1 comes in nine different colours and a small or medium size option to get your best fit. With adjustable ear loops and an extendable nose and chin covering, the M1 has got you covered—literally. $38
Ellie Mae Studios
Let your mask do the talking with one of Ellie Mae Studios’ vibrant prints and patterns. Ellie Mae’s sequined masks have been in hot demand as a way to add a little sparkle to your everyday. Designed with an ear loop and optional ties for maximum fit and comfort, each mask has a slip pocket for a filter. Portions from each mask purchase go towards Feed the Frontlines TO. $30
Utilizing her expertise in design, fashion designer Caitlin Power shifted her business model during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to the production of PPE—or rather, CPPE. Made of a reusable, Italian double-layered neoprene fabric, these non-medical masks are made-to-order and come in neutral tones or, for the more adventurous, acid green tie-dye. $30
Arguably one of the most modern designs on the mask market, the O2 Curve can help filter particles at 0.1 microns and larger. Its electrostatic filters are charged with both positive and negative ions that trap and neutralize small particles, helping you breathe in cleaner air. Based on average usage, O2 Canada says each filter can last up to two weeks trapping pollutants and bacteria; three filters are included with each purchase. $96
Known for their runway confections and decadent evening wear, NARCES’ masks run the gamut from subdued to dramatic to whimsical. Exhibit A? This white organza embroidered lip style that has no shortage of personality and charm. All masks are washable and include a filter pocket for extra protection. $50
MODE MASKS offers a variety of styles and fits of masks for everyday wear. Our favourite is the ‘Everyday Mask’ that’s inspired by men’s suiting with classic paisley and sleek black prints; check online for the made-to-measure masks for the best comfort and protection. MODE MASKS come with a pocket for filters and with an adjustable head loop for ultimate comfort. $29–34
While a face mask’s primary focus is utilitarian and preventative in function, that’s not to say that they can’t look great either. Such is the approach of Montreal-based fashion house UNTTLD and their array of stylish masks. Lined with 100% cotton and featuring an adjustable nose wire, the sale of each mask also supports women with 10% going to The Patricia Mackenzie Pavillion, a facility that provides a safe space for all women to stay. $50
The heather grey Maskwell mask is a great addition to any outfit, for any occasion. Each purchase includes a ‘Welcome Kit’ of 10 mask filters that can be inserted for extra protection. In addition to feeling safe when you wear a Maskwell mask, you can also feel good knowing that 10% of all sales will be donated to The Home Front, a volunteer organization helping frontline healthcare workers get the support they need during COVID-19. $20 for one, or $54 for a pack of three