The New Essential

By Catheryne Kelly

It looks like face masks are The New Essential. For the foreseeable future it’ll be “phone, keys, purse…face mask” you’ll have to chant every morning before leaving the house.

Despite the varying research conducted on the efficiency of face masks in the fight against Coronavirus, many of us around the world are now strongly encouraged by our governments to wear face coverings in public whenever possible.

On the 15th June, it became mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport in the UK, with the view in mind that asymptomatic carriers of the virus will be less likely to spread it to others with their nose and mouth covered.

Now that face masks are here to stay for time being, there are plenty of different types and styles available on the market for you to choose from. We’ve selected some makes from the UK and US for you to try; whether they are extended fashion statements or heavy-duty PPE gear, they are all available to order online.

Let’s start with the real deal; Inspirity UK has produced a ‘life-changing’ medical-standard face mask for key workers and members of the public alike.

Dubbed ‘the mask of the future’, it features a revolutionary self-suction filter that benefits from four specially-designed layers of protection. The design of the mask ensures that it is not in direct contact with the skin, which lowers the risks of bacteria build-up and discomfort. It is safe, sustainable and affordable. It is also designed to last up to two years, but we hope we won’t need it for that long!

Next is Notjust Clothing‘s zero waste, ultra-comfort masks.

Not only do these masks come in a range of eleven colours, but they’re made from DIOLEN antibacterial material, which breaths like a trainer, providing protection against bacteria whilst offering a comfortable fit. Each mask is produced sustainably in the UK with a zero-waste production methodology which keeps carbon emissions to a minimum. What’s even better is that 50% of profits from every sale is donated to the Masks for NHS Heroes crowdfund.

If you’d like your face mask to double-up as a sought-after accessory, may we suggest Prabal Gurung‘s limited release floral jacquard face masks.

Choose between two ultra-feminine designs, handmade in New York City. These non-medical protective face masks are created from upcycled fabrics and are even made to match with Prabal Gurung’s floral jacquard tote bag for a hyper-coordinated look.

Love British fashion? Six of London’s most acclaimed designers; Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, RAEBURN and RIXO, have teamed-up with The British Fashion Council to produce a line of fun charity face masks.

The ‘Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet’ Campaign has been launched by The British Fashion Council in partnership with Bags of Ethics. Their aim is to raise £1 million, with sale proceeds going to support NHS Charities Together COVID 19 Urgent Appeal, BFC foundation Fashion Fund and the Wings of Hope children’s charity. What’s more, they are reusable and are produced sustainably.

To show your support for the NHS whenever you’re out and about, why not get your hands on one of these sweet rainbow masks from Little Mistress in collaboration with Kindred.co. Also available in white.

This antibacterial face mask, made from 100% organic cotton, donates all proceeds after cost to NHS Charities Together, for which they aim to donate £5 million. If you want more ways to wear your pride for the NHS, there is also a huge range of clothing available on the Little Mistress website which features the symbolic rainbow.

Collina Strada and her fashion face mask reign on the throne of Coronavirus chic.

Not only does this mask scream high fashion but it is made from excess materials from previous Collina Strada collections, making each one totally unique. Sales of all masks adhere to a charitable 1:3 ratio, meaning that the purchase of one mask provides a further three to healthcare workers in New York City. 

Artists David Shrigley, Eddie Peake, Linder Sterling and Yinka Shonibare have created a line of four limited-edition face masks to support both emerging talent in the arts and museums hit badly during the pandemic.

The masks have been designed to raise money for the Contemporary Art Society’s Rapid Response Fund in partnership with Frieze London. Shrigley said: “The fund will provide incredible support to emerging artists at a time when the art world entirely ground to a halt, but also the technicians, the assistants, the small galleries that do so much to support younger artists in turn.”

Please remember, although wearing a mask is much advised, washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face have been proven to stop the spread of the virus, so do not forget to take these preventive measures whenever you can. We hope that all of our readers continue to be safe during the pandemic, whoever you are and wherever you may live.

If you enjoyed The New Essential, we recommend you read 5 Apps For Fashion Lovers for some post-lockdown look inspiration.