With the announcement that face coverings or face masks will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets (as well as public transport and other public places) from 24th June – that's today– it's time to get prepared and invest in some reusable cloth face masks.
Wearing a face mask on public transport has been mandatory in England since 15th June, but now from 24th July you'll also need to wear one whenever you pop to the shops. Since the announcement, small businesses around the UK have jumped at the opportunity of the surge in demand for reusable, beautifully designed face masks; notonthehighstreet reported that face masks have accounted for almost 13% of their sales in the last 24 hours, and 95% of their top 20 searched for items were face mask related. In other words, face masks are going to be a 'must have accessory' and businesses are adding them to their repertoires.
Just one such small business meeting demand for sustainable face masks is Spice Kitchen, a Birmingham based mother and son team who have pivoted their Indian spice business to create face masks. They have seen sales soar – selling 10,000 face masks in just over two months – and employed eight seamstresses to cope with the demand.
As it looks like we’re going to be wearing face masks for a while, you may as well invest in a design that you like. We've rounded up some cool reusable face masks in a variety of styles; from lovely linen ones to chic black ones, and from Pearl Lowe's funky florals to minimalist Japanese graphic design. There should be something here for everyone, and they're currently in stock and ready to ship.
Get prepared for the week ahead with these cool designs.
1. ALL NATURAL
Way Down Home's natural face masks are one of Etsy's bestsellers. The popular range of natural plant-dyed cotton and linen face coverings are super breathable, machine washable, and come in 10 gorgeous colour ways; from dusty pinks and pale rose to sunshine yellow and a warm terracotta. When asked what the most popular colour was, the designer Emily Hartley answered one of the pinky ones – whose natural colour surprisingly comes from avocado skins.
A quick scroll through the reviews and the natural masks look very promising indeed: “Wore this continuously for 5 hours and it's very comfortable”, “Perfect and comfortable fit! I have received compliments by both friends and strangers. Very skilled and sturdy make! I love, love, love that it is natural dye and that it fits so ergonomically, and that I could choose to have it around the head rather than ears. Thank you so much x”, and “Great quality face mask and the best fitting I've found so far! Arrived very quickly, highly recommend.” We're sold.
Natural plant-dyed cotton and linen face masks, £9, etsy.com
See Also: 8 Ways Covid-19 is shaping design trends
2. BACK TO BLACK
We didn't think a face mask could ever be considered sexy, but somehow the smooth curves of this Wolford one just ooze sex appeal.
Wolford face mask, £20, from luxury-legs.com
David Watson's tongue-in-cheek If You Can Read This You Are Too Close mask is both chic and humorous. Plus, 10% goes to the NHS Charities Together. The masks are handmade in London from non-irritable, sweat preventative material.
Quilted face mask, £20, davidwatson.uk
Scotch & Soda have unveiled a black face mask design too, with a 'I'm Smiling' design. Proceeds from each purchase go to The Homeless Project.
I'm Smiling mask, £9.95, scotch-soda.com
3. FLOWER POWER
Lily King's 100% cotton face masks feature Liberty's cheerful Adlington Hall floral print with bluebells, snowdrops and daffodils. Just lovely.
Liberty Adlington Hall Print Face Mask, £16.95, from notonthehighstreet.com
If you're a Liberty London fan, you'll love Le Colonel's designs, which feature face masks for adults and children in a variety of different Liberty prints.
Set of 3 for £34, lecolonelmoutarde.com
Celebrity Pearl Lowe has also designed a gorgeous range of face masks for adults and children, featuring dark floral patterns as well as funky leopard prints.
Jane Mask, £30, pearllowe.co.uk
Also jumping on the facemask bandwagon is Menkind, who stock a whole range of designs from plains to graphic prints and novelty.
Floral design mask, £10, menkind.co.uk
Last but not least, a floral print which has a Mexican Day Of The Dead vibe.
Flower Garden face mask, £38, numonday.com
Japan House London, the cultural home of Japan in London, have just launched their exclusive face covering collaboration with contemporary textile artist and founder of Tokyo brand HIROCOLEDGE, Takahashi Hiroko. The eye-catching series of sustainable face coverings feature a modern, graphic design.
£20, from Japan House London's bricks and mortar shop on High Street Kensington.
Lola & Blake's 100% cotton face masks come in fun jungle or woodland prints, in both adult and child sizes.
Jungle print or Woodland print face mask, £12.95, notonthehighstreet.com
Nervous Stitch's face masks include various quirky prints and patterns, including a 1920's style synchronised swimmers pattern and a Chinese lantern design.
Washable face mask with filter pocket and nose wire, £22, through notonthehighstreet.com
5. TIE DYE
For the outdoorsy types, KEEN footwear are launching a range of reusable cloth face masks including this tie-dye design. They initially started producing the masks for factory workers and their families on a converted production line in its Thailand factory. Made from upcycled materials intended for its footwear, the brand then proceeded to donate 250,000 cloth masks to workers on the front line such as supermarket workers, retail partner staff and KEEN employees and their families. The demand for KEEN’s cloth masks continued to grow, so they then decided to make them available for purchase, creating this line of masks.
The products will launch early August, so keep a beady eye on their website' keenfootwear.com
Luxury Italian fashion designers have partnered with Mainetti to create 23 different cloth masks ranging from this paisley print to various other handkerchief-style designs.
Face masks, £9.95 each from mainetti.com
Another Paisley print, this cotton lined SilverPlus® face mask is made from soft, breathable cotton, with the outer layer produced using a printed microfibre treated with SilverPlus® antimicrobial technology.
Paisley face mask, £15.95, notonthehighstreet.com
Looking for something more simple? NEQI's face coverings come in a variety of colours including blush pink, navy blue and black, and have more designs coming soon – including black with leopard print trim, plus a Christmas design featuring lace and pearls.
The masks can be washed at 60 degrees, and are very good value with three masks in each pack – they have been best sellers at both Boots and Ocado.
Set of NEQI face covering, £15 for 3 at boots.com
Notjustclothing have released reusable masks made from diolen antibacterial material, which breathes like a trainer whilst offering a comfortable fit that moulds to the face. There are 11 different colours to choose from, and masks are made sustainably and ethically in the UK with zero-waste production methodology.
Plus, 50% of profits from every sale will be donated to the Masks for NHS Heroes campaign to continue providing essential PPE to frontline workers. They've raised over £4,500 so far!
Green Marl face mask, £14.99, notjustclothing.co.uk
Meanwhile silk bed linen and nightwear brand Gingerlily have added slinky silk masks to their product range.
Crafted from 100% A Grade Mulberry silk, the face masks are available in sand, blush, or charcoal.
Silk Face Mask, £25, gingerlily.co.uk
Lavender Hill Clothing's range of 100% cotton face masks feature 11 designs, including some for children, and are made in England from sustainable and biodegradable fabrics. The masks come in a set of three, and for every pack bought they donate three face masks to the Katherine Low settlement, a charity serving the London community providing much-needed support, especially throughout the Coronavirus crisis, to impoverished and elderly local people in Battersea. Lavender Hill Clothing has donated over 10,000 masks to the the charity so far.
Face masks, £25 for three, lavenderhillclothing.com
8. FUN FOR KIDS
Not to be forgotten, there are plenty of fun designs out there for little ones too.
We think kids will love Terri Leahy's bear face masks, made from two layers of quilting 100% cotton fabric.
Kids cotton face mask, £12, notonthehighstreet.com
Rachel Riley is perhaps best known for dressing the royal babies, but she's now re-purposed her workshop in the Loire (where her baby shoes and slippers are normally hand made) to produce a range of 3-layer fabric face masks using vintage fabrics for adults and children. How about a matching set? There are floral patterns, leaf prints, ginghams and bird motifs to choose from.
Blue dove face mask, £19, rachelriley.co.uk