Keys, wallet, face mask! In late May, Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam officially recommended that Canadians begin wearing non-medical face masks when keeping that crucial two-meter physical distance wasn't possible. Since then, face coverings have become mandatory in many public spaces across the country, and most businesses, big or small, have followed suit and begun implementing their own face mask policies.
With masks now considered an essential accessory, many local designers have stepped up to the plate to ensure our faces are stylishly well-covered as we return (somewhat) to our normal day-to-day outings. Here are some of our favourites.
GRANDI, the ridiculously cool luxury women's wear boutique run by designer and dressmaker Grandy, recently started creating these playful numbers and has barely kept up with demand. They hope by retooling to meet the global demand for face masks - this will alleviate the need to purchase medical masks, so they can be reserved for our frontline workers.
Shop here: ateliergrandi.com
Poplin & Co.
Poplin & Co. wants to help us Vancouverites add another degree of protection when social distancing is difficult to maintain. They're known for their soft, durable materials and charming prints that are made with 100-percent peached cotton and durable poplin weave, and the face masks are made out of the same - and are pre-washed so there's no need to fret over colour fading or shrinkage.
Shop here: poplinandco.ca
Londre, a local sustainable swimwear brand, designed these sustainable, reusable, non-medical grade face masks that give back. For each pack purchased, Londre is donating a healthy, high quality meal to a single mother-led family in need through @causewecarefoundation
Shop here: londrebodywear.ca
Granville Island's longest-running retailer has begun making a variety of non-medical grade face masks with removable filters, in sizes for the whole family. And bonus: you can personalize your mask by sending in a fun photo. Otherwise, select from any of the dozens of trendy and funny face masks - from a Frenchie's slobbery mouth to funky animal prints and witty quotes - they have made available on their website
Plus, for every mask you buy (or make), MAKE will match you and donate a mask to Kid Safe Project Society
Shop here: makevancouver.com
AW by Andrea Wong
Local designer Andrea Wong is known around town for her fashion accessory line inspired by the beauty of our Pacific Northwest. She's also pivoted her business model and began handcrafting fabric face masks in their Chinatown studio with her small but mighty team.
Contactless pickup is available and preferred!
Shop here: awbyandreawong.com
Glasnost, known for its cotton waxed rainwear, is sewing at home to create one-of-a-kind face masks. These handmade cuties are created with natural minimalist styles and colourful pastel tie-dyes. Shipping is available but local pickup is preferred. $1 from every order will be donated to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.
Shop here: glasnost.ca
Vancouver favourite Abel Wear has teamed up with the North Shore Alliance Church to sew a run of hand-made face masks for vulnerable citizens living in Vancouver and on the North Shore. They've hired women from the community facing employment barriers to create these face masks, and then they're distributed free of charge to those in need.
If you would like to purchase one of these masks, DM @abelwear for more info.
KSLAM is dedicated to reinvention and sustainability, the latter being most important right now as we are using more plastics as COVID-19 continues on. Each face mask is double lined, sustainable and reusable. KSLAM aims to dismantle traditional femininity by selecting materials not always inherently feminine, melding both vintage and modern aesthetics.
Shop here: kslamclothing.com
Vancouver-based contemporary label Bronze Age has added face masks to their collection, crafted from a lightweight cotton in Swiss dot, gingham, cherry or floral pattern. These lovelies are hand-made and made-to-order. You can also purchase a matching face mask and scrunchie combo—you know, for a coordinated look.
Shop here: abronzeage.com
Pillar Heights has always been dedicated to slow fashion and sustainable fabrics. And they've incorporated these practices by using natural fibres, like bamboo, in their expansive collection of face masks.
Shop here: pillarheights.com
As part of Arraei's Zero Waste initiative, the Vancouver-based label partnered with Bohème Goods to make non-medical sustainable masks. While they were initially using fabric waste for their locally-made masks, they've since sold out and have started using sustainable fabrics (a combination of hemp, organic cotton and spandex). Plus, for every Arraei order, the label will also donate one mask to a local community.
Shop here: arraeicollective.com
Modern womenswear label Nonie reassembled their factory to manufacture face masks made from their dead stock fabric. With each mask sold, Nonie will also be donating a mask to key organizations in need, designer and founder Nina Kharey wrote in a note on the label's online site.
Shop here: houseofnonie.com
Modern swimwear label Beth Richards' custom chain-print mask—that's polyester and cotton-lined—makes COVID safety look chic. Like their swimwear, face masks are ethically manufactured in Canada. Proceeds go to supporting different womens' charities through Canada Helps.
Shop here: bethrichards.ca
This Etsy shop, based in White Rock, B.C., has been hand-sewing and selling face masks by the hundreds, with all proceeds being donated to Ocean Conservation. Face masks are made in all sizes and colours, and with some ocean-inspired prints too.
Shop SewnInCanada on Etsy.com