reusable masks

Twelve places to buy fashionable reusable masks in Toronto right now

With Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, stating that wearing non-medical masks may help limit the transmission of COVID-19 — wearing reusable masks seems to have become the new norm in Canada. Now in Toronto, masks have become mandatory in all enclosed public settings.

But with a shortage of masks across the globe, people have found innovative ways to protect themselves and look fashionable while doing it.

Here are 12 fashion-forward reusable masks for you to consider:

1. Local designer Hayley Elsaesser is making reusable masks in fabrics donning the wild and colourful prints that she’s known for. The sales are helping to support her small business and she’s also donating 20 per cent of each sale to Food Banks Canada COVID Response Fund. Orders can be placed on her website.



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2.  Nikki Wirthensohn is known for her unique bridal and party wear, but she is also devoting some time to creating face masks. For every mask sold on her website, two or more masks will be donated to local health and care institutions. The masks also come with a pocket for a filter.



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3. Peace Collective, known for their Toronto and Canada-focused apparel, launched a buy one, give one mask program. They will donate a Canadian-made reusable protective mask to someone working on the front line for every mask purchased. They also created masks for kids.



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4. No, your pup doesn’t need a mask. But local designer Ellie Mae’s dog sure knows how to rock one. Mae is donating $5 from every mask purchase to Feed the Front Lines TO. These masks have an ear loop and tie option for anyone whose ears are starting to suffer from frequent mask use.



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5. If you’re looking for a snug fit and a unique design, then Caitlin Power has the mask for you. The masks are made to order and the next batch are being shipped out on June 5. You can also opt for contactless pick-up. You can also get a complimentary mask with any clothing purchase on her website.



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6. To celebrate still being the NBA’s defending champions, Toronto Raptors fans can buy branded, 100 per cent cotton face covering masks. The NBA and WNBA are selling the licensed cloth face coverings bearing team and league logos ($14.99/each or in packs of three for $24.99). They aren’t intended to prevent or protect from any form of illness or disease, but all proceeds generated will go to Feeding America in the U.S. and Second Harvest in Canada.

“These face coverings are an important tool in this public health battle,” Lori Nikkel, chief executive of Second Harvest said in a statement.



7. Konno Kourtesy Masks are custom-made, non-medical masks with a “cool and creative twist.” From floral designs to camo to tie-dye, they offer over 20 masks at $12 — all made in Canada. The company announced that a portion of the proceeds from the mask sales will go toward COVID-19 pandemic response teams.

“Our hope is that providing the public with colourful, design-oriented masks will incentivize people to wear them and in turn reduce the spread of the virus,” the company said in a statement.



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8. Doll Factory by Damzels in Toronto is a two-person operation working seven days a week to fulfill the demand for vintage-inspired face masks (they sell for $18-$20/each). Some of the more popular options, such as the lightweight, polyester Fred Astair face mask and the black and white striped Johnny Cash face mask sold out quickly, but they have many other vintage-worthy options available online.



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9. Frank and Oak masks are 100 per cent cotton, sewn from upcycled shirts and handmade by members of their design team in Canada. They sell out fast, but the aim is to restock on a weekly basis. In the meantime, you can sign up on their waitlist for updates.



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We have received many requests for masks, and are sincerely proud to witness how many of you care about doing good in your community. However, since our masks are handmade by members of our Design Team in Canada, we can only manufacture a limited amount each week. We’ll aim to restock every week following the demand. Follow our link in bio to join our waitlist and be the first to know when we’ll restock them. • Nous avons reçu de nombreuses demandes de masques et sommes sincèrement fiers de voir combien d’entre vous se soucient de faire du bien dans votre communauté. Cependant, puisque nos masques sont fabriqués à la main par des membres de notre équipe, nous ne pouvons fabriquer qu’une quantité limitée chaque semaine. Nous visons à réapprovisionner chaque semaine suivant la demande. Suivez notre lien en bio pour rejoindre notre liste d’attente et soyez parmi les premiers à savoir quand nous les réapprovisionnerons.

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10. Spencer Badu limited edition face masks with 3M filtering systems also sold out super-fast — but the company is restocking.

“Our face masks are handsewn in Toronto with a built-in removable 3M air filter system for extra protection. These homemade masks are used as a last resort option to reduce droplet transmission from infected individuals and are better than no protection at all. Please be advised that these face masks do not replace N95 or FDA/NIOSH approved masks,” the company said in a statement on their website.

With every purchase, they will be matching a facemask in support of the Michael Garron Hospital and the Humber River Hospital.



11. Joseph Tassoni, a local fashion designer based in Burlington, is responding to the demand for non-medical masks by manufacturing his own line of masks.

“This initiative is a chance for us to use our skills, supply chain and equipment to help produce products that will bridge the protective equipment gap in hospitals,” says Tassoni.

The material used in Tassoni’s masks is a specially-sourced material that resists the build up of moisture and bacteria which differentiates these masks from many of the other cotton ones currently available for consumer use. By producing these masks and gloves, Tassoni is hoping to ensure that medical grade equipment is reserved for the health-care workers who require it.



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12. Beginning May 25, Greta Constantine released five non-medical grade face masks that will be available for purchase at small business retailers across the country. Here in Toronto, the masks can be found at Andrews online, Maxi Boutique in Yorkville and Lac and Co. on Davenport Road. The label chose to make the masks exclusively available at these retailers to do their part to support small businesses.

“We genuinely hope that this initiative will not only aid in protecting our neighbours, but also the small businesses that make our communities what they are,” says Jesse Greene, a senior manager at Greta Constantine.



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According to Health Canada, wearing a facial covering/non-medical mask in the community is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. However, it can be an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, even if you are asymptomatic.

The World Health Organization adds that masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water (before and after you put on a mask).

Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between it and your face. Avoid touching the mask while using it, and replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp (do not re-use single-use masks).

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO