- July 28, 2020
- Posted by Claire Goldsworthy
- No comments
Two weeks ago I shut our retail store in Hampton. Now, I'm sewing face masks 15 hours a day just to keep up with demand. It's all a little crazy, but that's 2020 right?!
A few months ago in the thick of 'Lockdown 1.0', my cousin started making face masks after she was forced to close her beauty salon in Brisbane. At the time, masks still weren't mandatory, but she had to think on her feet and do something with all the time she now had with appointment cancellation after cancellation.
Fast forward eight weeks into 'Lockdown 2.0' and in Victoria, if you're caught outside without a face covering, you'll be fined $200 on the spot.
The weekend I packed up our store and moved out, was the weekend masks became mandatory, so being one to think on my feet too (it runs in our family), we didn't waste any time. We took a simple mask design, finessed it, made it comfy, added sustainable ear-loops, and started hustling. Between my cousin's idea, my need for an ethical and sustainable finished product, and my nan's sewing perfectionist prowess, we came up with our masks. Within five minutes of making them available online a few weeks ago, we were selling masks to all of Melbourne, and now, they’re going interstate and overseas.
Our masks are super luxe, adjustable, reusable, plastic-free and elastic-free, and we were the first to release single cotton ear-loops with a timber bead, completely eliminating bulky ties and irritating plastic elastic. Our ear-loops are made with super soft fine cotton and you can’t feel the loops or beads behind your ears, scouts honour.
They’re available in adults and kids sizes, in two and three layers, organic options, and XL masks are on their way for our bearded friends. We’re working on upcycled designs too. We've avoided elastic all together because it's plastic, and every time it's washed, it sheds micro-plastic fibres into our waterways. With billions of us wearing and washing masks every day, all those micro-plastic fibres make up one hell of a giant plastic mess in our ocean, and it's not something we want to contribute to at The Fashion Advocate.
We don't want to solve one problem and create another, so we made a conscious decision to make our masks polyester-free, plastic-free, elastic-free and synthetic-free, and they're entirely Australian made too. We only use natural fabrics like cotton, linen and organic cotton, and even our sewing thread is cotton too. Our ear loops are made with super fine soft cotton for comfortability, and the beads that make our masks adjustable - are made from natural timber, unvarnished and chemical-free. If one of our masks happens to make its way into the ocean or landfill by accident, it will break down, biodegrade and disintegrate, because it's made entirely from natural materials.
Our masks are also washable, reusable, and reversible. In a nutshell, they're pretty damn good.
Shop our two-layer and three-layer cotton made masks here, and #maskup to help stop the spread.