The Canadian Government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now officially recommending that people wear a face mask when venturing out in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
We had done our best to locally source some washable, reusable, repairable, and plastic-free face masks as alternatives to the synthetic and disposable versions but we simply could not keep up with the demand and were always running out. We wanted to find a solution and we brainstormed a way forward where we could work together with our community to make plastic-free masks without contributing to the global mask shortage!
We are thrilled to have launched what we are calling a “triple win” community initiative where we are paying sewists at home in need of revenue to help make our 100% cotton face masks for willing customers who need masks and want to support a company they love (us!) at a time when sales are dwindling and our future is uncertain.
We have connected with many wonderful sewists and have brought several of these talented folks on board to help make more masks. Each mask is handmade with love, so they are each unique, but all masks follow a pattern and conform to our core criteria. They are made of 100% cotton, are a shade of white, and the work(wo)manship is held to a solid and consistent standard so you can be sure to receive a high quality mask.
To support our triple win community effort, please consider purchasing a mask. A large number of sewists from around North America have joined this project. Purchasing these masks helps support them and us while protecting yourself and others with a plastic-free washable 100% cotton face mask. These masks will now come in two sizes, a standard size and a smaller size for children. You can buy your face mask here.
Each mask will have a tag from the particular sewist that made the mask, including their name, handle or logo so you have the opportunity to thank them personally!
- What are the criteria to be a sewist?
We are bringing in sewists to help create our masks and are looking for experienced sewists who can follow the pattern we provide and who have access to the necessary tools and materials: 100% cotton white or off-white fabric, white or off-white thread, paper envelopes, a printer, and a sewing machine. Apply to be a sewist here.
How effective are these masks?
In this Time article, when asked about masks, Dr. David Hui, a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, noted that “The mask provides a barrier from respiratory droplets, which is predominantly how the virus spreads.” It is still important to avoid touching your face, and social distancing remains the best way to prevent the spread of any virus. Please note that these cotton washable masks are unregulated and do not provide the same health protection as regulated N95 respirators or surgical masks. For more details on N95 respirators and surgical masks see this information provided by the US Food and Drug Administration: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/n95-respirators-and-surgical-masks-face-masks
What assurance do we have about the cleanliness of the masks?
We are requiring our sewists to take all possible measures to ensure the cleanliness of the masks as they make and ship them to us. However, we cannot guarantee the cleanliness of the masks. They are coming from different individuals and we have no control over the level of cleanliness in each sewist's home or workspace. As such, and as with anything one purchases online, we suggest that you wash them before first use. For added safety, you may soak them in a 10% bleach solution and rinse them well before using.
Can I return my mask or gloves?
For health and sanitation reasons we cannot accept returns of these products. However, if you have an issue with the product, please let us know by providing a detailed description of the issue along with explanatory photos. We will do our best to resolve the situation as soon as possible so that you are happy.