While wearing a non-medical mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from coronavirus, when worn properly, it can help reduce the spread of infectious respiratory droplets. Note: Wearing a mask is not a substitute for good hygiene, such as washing your hands, and public health measures, including physical distancing. It’s not one or the other! The Government of Canada has provided two no-sew tutorials (we’ve also compiled a few here) and guidelines for wearing a mask. If you’re looking to purchase one, or a few, here’s a list of Canadian fashion brands that are now selling masks – there’s never been a better time to support local businesses. And if you’re in Quebec, here are 30 locally made options in the province.
OLIVE + SPLASH
As the coronavirus pandemic progressed, Olive + Splash founder Melanie Wong looked for a way to ensure that customers could pick up their packages safely. Her solution? A contactless “drive-thru” at the company’s Burlington, Ont. warehouse – all you have to do is pull up to the window. In addition to their line of unisex athleisure, the brand is making masks with the same bamboo cotton fabric. “I was going to the grocery store with a bandana tied around my face and it didn’t feel safe,” says Wong. Along with safety, the masks were designed with comfort and style in mind. “There’s a little arch for your nose to fit in and then it slips down so if you wear glasses, it’s not pushing up on them.” Shop: $22.99-$49.99, oliveandsplash.com
Toronto-based designer Hayley Elsaesser has transformed her signature colourful prints into masks. Made from a quilted jersey fabric, the masks are offered in a variety of cheeky patterns – choose from hot pink scorpions, blue bananas or the “Eyegina” print – that are guaranteed to boost spirits. As well, 20 percent of each purchase will be donated to the Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Fund to support the work of food banks across the country. Shop: $25, hayleyelsaesser.com
FREED & FREED
Now in its 100th year of operation, Winnipeg-based outerwear maker Freed & Freed are producing cotton masks in response to the pandemic. The masks – which also come in a children’s size – are embroidered with different phrases and symbols like “All for one” and a maple leaf. For every mask sold, the company is donating 5 percent towards PPE for shelters. Shop: $12-$15, freedandfreed.com
Vancouver-based womenswear label Nonie has shifted their manufacturing to produce cotton masks from deadstock fabric, which will be given free of charge with online orders, or can purchased individually. For each mask sold, founder and creative director Nina Kharey has committed to donating PPE to essential workers. Shop: $33-$55, houseofnonie.com