Nonie reusable face masks

This Canadian designer is making sustainable and ethically-made reusable face masks

Canadian womenswear brand Nonie has added sustainable and ethically-made reusable face masks to its summer collection. The masks are Canadian-made with 100 per cent upcycled cotton. The new collection was just released and includes light pink, bright pink and an army green option to fit with the current season.

“As masks become a daily part of our routine, I wanted to introduce more bright summer colours to give consumers more choice in their protective wear,” says Nina Kharey, the creative director behind Nonie, adding that the masks use medical fabrics.

Each mask is lined with a certified SMS fabric, which offers a 99.9 per cent barrier protection, and has a pouch on the inside that can hold a filter to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The lining is made of synthetic fibres that fight airborne and waterborne ingression, and Nonie also has carbon filter inserts for the masks available for purchase on the website.

It was important to Kharey that the masks be sustainable because sustainability is a large part of the Nonie brand.

“We have been a business focused on environmental sustainability and ethical treatment of our workers, from the very beginning,” says Kharey. “This is also one of the biggest reasons I really wanted to supply masks — I wanted to reduce the dependability of disposable masks. I think this is going to be the next big problem in waste.”

Kharey and the Nonie team have also been updating the design and specifications of the masks as they receive feedback from customers. The masks retail for $33 each or $55 for two and are part of a buy one, donate one initiative. For each mask purchased, Nonie will donate a mask to organizations such as the Red Cross and various women’s shelters across Canada.

“In the beginning, we were focused on getting masks to the hospitals, but then we started getting requests from nurses all over North America who couldn’t afford a mask for themselves or loved ones. We started sending them out to any nurse that would contact us — no questions asked,” she says. “We’re now looking at donating to food banks and meal providers for front line workers.”

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