Cover Story: Stylish, Ethical Face Masks

By July 27, 2020 August 4th, 2020 Features-Leeds

Major fashion houses are turning their hand to luxury masks to support the fight against coronavirus. If you’re looking for a stylish face covering, why not help fashion help the NHS with JLife’s stylish selection?

With celebrities such as Billy Eilish sporting a Gucci face covering to the Grammys before the coronavirus was a pandemic, we can assume that fashion might continue to focus on practical staples even after the pandemic ends. But as of now, face coverings are mandatory for people using public transport in England and Uber has also made them compulsory for all passengers.

While many have been busy devising their own reusable face masks, there are plenty of sustainable fabric options available to buy online. Supply on Etsy has exploded, in the first week of April alone, users searched for masks an average of nine times per second, clocking up over two million searches.

Numerous high street retailers including Liberty, Urban Outfitters and Topshop have now started to stock chic fabric designs in a range of summer patterns and prints. While many are non-medical face coverings and shouldn’t strictly be used as PPE, brands have increasingly risen to the challenge of making 2020’s most worn accessory an altogether more fashionable prospect, without compromising protective capabilities.

The coronavirus crisis has disrupted most industries, the luxury fashion business included. Some of the world’s most exclusive brands have taken the opportunity to do their bit to prop up dwindling PPE supplies, with the likes of Chanel, Burberry and Louis Vuitton churning out masks and gowns for the frontline. On the consumer front, many are selling their luxe face coverings with a buy-one-donate-one offering or donating profits to key charities battling the UK pandemic.

With that in mind, here is our selection of stylish, ethical masks you can pick up right now to help make a difference – but you better be quick, they’re going fast…

Kurt Geiger We Are One Face Mask

Emblazoned with a colourful sentiment of unity, Kurt Geiger’s rainbow hue face mask is not only a symbol of stylish optimism, but certified against Covid-19 according to National Health System guidance. Designed with a heavyweight medical grade cotton outer, it boasts soft elastic straps and a comfortable jersey lining with a pocket for filters, along with in-built wiring for a snug fit across the nose. As part of the We Are One collection, NHS Charities Together will see 100% of profits.


CASETiFY Reusable Cloth Mask

Made with breathable material for those muggy August days, CASETiFY’s washable cotton masks are fitted with a removable filter to help fight the spread of the virus. As part of its Buy a Mask, Donate a Mask campaign, every sale will help the brand on its mission to provide 35,000 masks to Direct Relief, helping to protect UK health workers on the frontline.


Boden Non-Medical Face Covering

Boden has launched a collection of patterned masks made from the ends of jersey fabric rolls used for their floral dresses, as worn by The Duchess of Cambridge. Each set of three comes in a mystery mix of vibrant colours and for every sale, Boden will donate £5 to NHS charity Helpforce to help improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and communities.


Wolford Classic Mask Set

Meghan Markle’s favourite hosiery brand has redirected production from tights to masks, donating its profits to hospitals and healthcare institutions. The label’s streamlined black masks are knitted to a moulded cup, then fitted with nose wires for comfortable full coverage, before passing under UV light to kill any sneaky viruses. Priced at £55 a pop, they don’t come cheap, but they’re fully machine washable, meaning you can keep it chic throughout the worst of the pandemic.


Great British Designer Face Coverings

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has launched a line of designer non-medical masks created by six sought-after British designers: Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, RAEBURN and RIXO. The project aims to raise £1 million with profits split between NHS Charities Together, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity. Now available in ASOS, Boots, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s, these reusable masks are made from organic cotton sateen, boasting adjustable ear straps and an anti-fog fit to keep you from steaming up your specs – they even come with a protective pouch made from upcycled fabric.