THE SHORT VERSION: This story begins with a couture wedding gown designer, in lockdown, wedding season on hold & time on my idle hands. By Easter weekend there was a concept, a USP, art, samples, a shop & a brand. And here we are. Who knows when this pandemic will end, but whilst nasties like covid are around, face coverings are going to be part of the new normal.
THE LONGER VERSION: My Mask Have Accessory line was set up in response to my needs going into lockdown. I was the shopper for my parents, who are both in the vulnerable category of over 70’s & I had a responsibility to them, as well as myself, to do everything I could to prevent, as best I could, any of us catching Covid19. *As an aside, the pandemic has also written off the 2020 Wedding Season, which is my main income source, before it even got started.
I found my options limited; wearing a scarf to the shops made me feel like a robber & it kept slipping down & if I’m quite honest there is nothing appealing about wearing a dust mask or similar, disposable ppe, as they’re uncomfortable, not environmentally friendly & do not look good either. Surely there are more elegant, sustainable solutions that offer a decent level of protection?
At the same time I was seeing chatter about fabric masks on the internet & though it seemed difficult to believe fabric offers any level of protection I dug deeper & read various articles & studies of fabrics & filter options which support the use of fabric masks with filter pockets & the right choice of filter as ppe & that gave me the solution I was looking for.
So I did a little sketching & a little sewing, made a prototype or 5 & came up with a concept I love, that suits me & I hope suits you.
So from me to you, I present a collection of non-medical, whimsical, quality, reusable & washable, cotton masks with filter pocket for us to step out in public feeling a little safer & to live this ‘new normal’ life a little lighter, with dare I say it? A little style.
The fabric choices I have made are based on data published in the New York Times & other internet sources:
• Top layer of cotton & poly/cotton drills, denim, satins & silk backed with drill.
• Lining layer of thick cotton jersey for comfort.
• Design hugs the face well.
• Comes with adjustable elastic ear loops.
• Metal strip over the nose to pinch to shape
•Free filter and pattern to cut more of your own (source – hepa vacuum cleaner bag).
• Free re-sealable storage bag.
*These masks are sold as non medical grade, they have not been lab tested & use commercially available materials & I will not make any claims on their ability to protect the wearer or others & can not be held responsible for anyone falling sick. There is information on the internet, there are some good links shared on this blog post or shared on my Instagram feed, which give the results of lab testing done on various materials & I suggest those interested, look this information up to satisfy yourself that my masks are the right solution for you too.
In addition to quality material choices, I worked on a close fit, focusing on comfort & then added a strong, identify-able design & branding to the range. I wanted the masks to convey approach-ability, be friendly & be humorous; in short to put back thoughts & emotions on to our faces. My aim is to create a quality product & a feel good vibe around mask wearing, for the wearer & everyone else. To put a smile on a cashier’s face, make other shoppers laugh & ultimately make it feel ok for everyone to wear one & make people feel at ease with the idea. The more people that wear masks out, the safer I feel & in theory, the quicker we can return to a more normal existence.
All sizing can be found here
Need to cut more filters? Find the downloads to for your filter pattern here
Hand wash in hot, soapy water, taking care not to over rub or crunch up the motif/slogan and drip dry. Do not iron over motif, elastic or edging.
Between washes you can hold your mask over steam or spray with alcohol over 60% proof.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108646/ – very informative table, if you pan down the page.
*Chantal Mallett is the designer behind Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture, a UK couture wedding dress brand est. 1996. Mask Have Accessory is her Corona lockdown baby.