While the jury is still out on whether face masks can actually make a difference in protecting you from contracting COVID-19, more and more people around the country are taking it upon themselves to wear a mask daily whenever they leave the house on essential trips. And with a recent comment from Dr David Nabarro of WHO recommending that in fact we should be wearing them – and that we may have to wear masks for some time, potentially even long after social distancing practices have passed – we think it’s time we find one that we actually want to wear.
Aditionally, a recent Irish Times report stated that the wearing of a face mask by members of the public is critical in the battle against COVID-19: “There is a broad consensus now that wearing even a basic cloth mask properly along with rapid testing/tracing capacity and appropriate use of effective app technology will be all needed, if crushing Covid is to be realised.” Adding that “80 per cent adoption could reduce mortality by 24 to 65 per cent.” It has also been announced that a new mask production company will be set up in Sligo by Neil Sands, producing masks for the public which will be available to purchase online, in select shops and via a subscription service.
There have been lots of creative takes on social media showing followers how to make their own masks from home. Jenny Walton, a fashion illustrator based in New York, has been repurposing old designer dust bags (from Gucci to Prada) to make face masks; sustainable clothing brand Reformation shared a simple but effective trick of using a silk scarf and two bobbins (find it in their Instagram Stories highlights); and Vogue shared a step by step guide and pattern for making and tie-dyeing your own mask at home.
Of course from a public health perspective, it doesn’t matter what your face mask looks like as long as it covers your mouth, nose and chin, but for those of us who like to consider our appearance, who take pride in how we look and feel and whose aesthetic sensibilities often tend to win out over practicality, we can’t help but want our mask to be attractive. We could go into a whole spiel on how the mask could become the next form of self-expression (and the next It accessory?) but we’ll save you the essay and instead include below some Irish face masks that you can buy from home to help make your essential trips that little bit more stylish…
THE GLOSS X Jennifer Rothwell Design: An Exclusive Limited Edition Mask
Wearing a mask is now strongly advised in some settings so while some of us are already wearing them, more and more women are getting used, or even warming to, the idea. Could masks – as coronavirus is set to remain with us for months and even years – become the new fashion item? We think so. That’s why we have teamed up with Jennifer Rothwell on a limited edition GLOSS X Jennifer Rothwell Design mask, in uplifting “Mist and Moonshine” pure silk printed by Jennifer in her Dublin studio and inspired by a Harry Clarke illustration for a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale collection of 1916. Because it is silk, the mask is breathable, incredibly comfortable and pleasant to wear (we’ve trialled it before bringing it to you) and is machine washable at 60 degrees and quick drying. It is made from three layers of silk – the advice is, the more layers, the more protection a mask affords. Sure, you can make a mask from a T-shirt, or a sock, or you can wear a disposable medical one and throw it away after one use. But this is the ultimate mask – sustainably produced with zero waste, a pleasure to wear and a gorgeous gift for a birthday or anniversary.
Buying this GLOSS X Jennifer Rothwell mask will help the Capuchin Day Centre and also helps the local Irish economy, keeping our cutters, seamstresses and tailors in work. Rothwell is also also developing masks with strings for those who wear hearing aids, specially designed ones for people with COPD and a man-with-a-beard mask … Which just goes to show, masks are evolving and it’s not one mask fits all anymore. If face coverings are to be with us for a while, they will need to be fit for purpose for different sizes, styles, ages and specific needs.
Go to www.jenniferrothwell.com to buy. Ten percent of profits are going to the Capuchin Day Centre to help them deliver services to homeless people.
GLOSS X Jennifer Rothwell handmade silk mask, €28 + €8.50 registered post, www.jenniferrothwell.com
Linen mask, €16, Irish Linen House
Linen travel mask, €20, Stable of Ireland (check back regularly for restock). For every two masks purchased you will receive a third mask free.
Cloth mask, €25, We Make Good. With every mask purchased We Make Good will donate one mask to someone living in direct provision.
Irish linen and bamboo kids face mask, €3.95, Trousseau. Adult masks €8.95.
Humming Bird Non Surgical Face Mask, €22, Jennifer Rothwell. 10% of all profits from sales of the masks will be donated to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless.
Cardinal Red Silk Face covering, €25, Natalie B Coleman. A percentage of profits will be donated to Women’s Aid, Dublin.
Irish linen face mask, €10, www.bebhinn.ie. €2 from each mask sold is donated to charity.
Handmade face masks, €10. To order mail Fionnuala Bourke on Instagram.
Handmade face masks, €35, Mariad Whisker via dominowhisker.com.
Adult masks €29.90 per pack of 3, Bare Essentials
Cotton face mask with filter, €8.50, Face Masks by Miriam. €1 from each mask will be donated to ALONE.
Blue Gingham Matching Face Mask & Scrunchie, €27, Fortune’s Antiques
Pack of six masks, Helen Cody via Instagram
‘Howya’ kids mask, €4, Irish Sock Society.
We’ll update this post regularly with more Irish face masks as they become available so do check back in regularly.
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