With face masks being mandatory for months to come, it’s high time you realise you don’t have to settle for clinical disposables when Singapore designers are making reusable masks their new playground.
Reusable masks have gone from obligatory protection to protective accessories. Local craftsmen and designers have stepped up to render the mask in scores of fabrics, giving wearers another avenue to express personal style.
Many of these masks made by local designers also enter the market with an important sustainable slant. These masks are upcycled and typically made from surplus fabrics.
The fact that these resuable face masks are washable, rather than disposable, also cuts down on waste produced throughout the entire lifespan of the product. Personal hygiene and sustainability banding for a greater social good? We love to see that.
Plus, these face masks also offers the wider public a gateway to local designers, one they might have never encountered prior. Any opportunity to help a homegrown business is a winning one, in our books.
Lest we continue to wax lyrical, let us just leave you with the list of local designers making reusable face masks in Singapore. If you’d also like to try your hand at making your own face mask, check out our guide here.
Hero image credit: Vera Davidova/Unsplash; all other images credited to respective brands
As a spin-off from homegrown wrist wrap label, Pop Your Hips, Pop Your Mask offers colorful, fun face masks made in a variety of fabrics and finishes. Whether you fancy pastels, glitter or geometry, there is something for you. Just note that while these masks are not medical-grade, they do come with pockets for you to fit your own filters.
Sutajio is a home-based handmade mask business that began making waves on Instagram for using Japanese prints. With coverings that featured fans, Hokusai’s waves and more, every intricate piece is made to order. As Sutajio is a one-person show, the business runs on a pre-order model, so keep your eyes out for openings on their Instagram page.
Olive Ankara is a sustainable locally-based fashion brand founded by African designer Ifeoma, with the goal of bringing her native culture to Singapore’s fashion landscape. Known for their bold, sustainable prints and pieces that are multicultural in their make — think a cheong sam with African-style prints — the brand has since branched into reusable masks for adults and kids as a response to COVID-19. Made with wax print cotton decorated with Olive Ankara’s signature designs, these are not medical-grade, but you can fit a surgical mask into its interior pocket for added protection.
Created as a response to the mask shortage earlier in the year, the 1929 mask is a three-ply, anti-microbial face mask that aims to cover most protective bases during this pandemic. It is water-repellent, so droplets roll off the surface, and its second layer is treated with benzalkonium chloride — an antibacterial agent — to keep you safe for 100 washes. Finally, the layer in close contact with your skin is cotton for maximum comfort. The brand also caters to headdress wearers with a mask extender, a necessary attachment that many other mask companies lack.
You know of CYC Tailor as the local business that banded to make 300,000 masks for migrant workers, but since then, the brand has also established a line of reusable masks for adults and children in the community. Made from cotton fabric in an array of minimalistic or locally-inspired designs, every mask comes with a washable N95 hydrophobic filter for hygiene. Proceeds also go to continuing their Mask for Migrants initiative.
Local scarf maker Binary Style is known for prints that harken to local heritage. The brand now applies these prints to 100 percent cotton fabric masks, all outfitted with pockets to fit non-woven filters, and closed with buckled elastic band straps. 20 percent of sales proceeds from the masks will go to Transient Workers Count 2 (TWC2), a charity dedicated to providing aid to migrant workers in Singapore.