Last week, the government announced that from 15th June, wearing a face mask would be compulsory for anyone using public transport or travelling in a taxi so we have shortlisted our favourite fashion masks to purchase during this pandemic.
Lots of brands and designers have brought out their own face masks as if this is to be our 'new normal', then it was only a matter of time before fashion put its stamp on things and these masks started to get a lot more stylish. Not superficially so, however, as it's a no brainer that the more stylish the design of the mask, the more likely people are to wear them out and about.
Masks are a vital form of protection against the Covid-19 virus, lowering the rate and spread of infection. Despite the UK not making it mandatory to wear face masks in all public places (as countries such as Germany and Portugal have instigated), it is worth investing in your fashionable face mask now, to be as safe and prepared as you can be. Why fashionable? By choosing to buy a face mask from a brand, you are leaving the surgical style of face masks available for the NHS and frontline workers to use as PPE.
During the course of lockdown, Style Cartel has been introduced to a variety of face masks - from our own research, to seeing designs shared across social media. Some of our favourite brands and designers have also progressed to add face masks to their collection which is great as we can continue to support them and support this initiative.
Small business still need your support and many of them have started to create face masks and add them to their websites so it's worth checking out your favourite startup brands as well as more mainstream ones.
A prime example of a little internet research, we stumbled upon Rebel Roots and its range of Bombama Masks in a frantic attempt to get stylish face masks when the shortage of surgical face masks was really prominent in the news. With a variety of gorgeous designs in a range of bold prints and colours, merging a love and appreciation for fashion and African clothing. What started off as a passion project for founder Bonita soon turned into a fully fledged business venture, with there being a popular demand for African hair products and fashion accessories. She is now the proud owner of a shop that has connected entrepreneurs and creatives who wish to champion and celebrate the vibrancy of African culture. The reusable masks use ethically-sourced materials which support local communities. They are all individually handmade, making them even more of a unique statement. Should you wish for a particular colour-way or design, contact Bonita, quoting your oder number or delivery address.
Tribe + Fable
A treasure trove of ethnic designs and bohemian style, Tribe + Fable will be your brand crush in seconds so you might as well surrender to giving it all your money now. The sooner you accept it etc. Another sustainable and ethical fashion brand, we knew the only guilt we would have is when paying our credit card statement at the end of the month - but that's a whole month away. Despite being in love with the whole website, what really caught our attention was the Maskerchief; a mask, a scarf, a top - either individually or all in one, if you'd like. Wear it as a mask with the elastic straps to fasten behind your ears and either wrap the excess fabric around your neck or tie it behind your back, as a bohemian-style top. It's a look we're sure to be obsessed with long after the pandemic. Using the same fabrics as the rest of the collection, these reusable masks can stay apart of your wardrobe long after Covid-19, as you can wear the piece as a scarf or top on its own, tucking the mask inside. Need more of a reason? Tribe + Fable is donating 10 per cent of profits from their Maskerchief sales to the NHS to help frontline workers.
Maison Bent is a designer close to home and we're so happy to see the fashion house is also selling face masks as part of its collection. The brand launched earlier this year with a presentation during London Fashion Week. As if we weren't already in love with the flamboyant shapes and draped tailoring, we're adding a mask in every colour to our shopping baskets. Another brand to ethically produce its clothes and accessories, Maison Bent has upcycled samples from its Autumn/Winter collection to create the 100 per cent wool and silk face masks. The fashion face masks are available in charcoal, oyster and dove grey, azure blue and ivory, with the signature logo visible as detail. 20 per cent of profits will be donated to the Black Lives Matter movement, if you're looking for another way to support the cause - and support a small business simultaneously.
Lily King London
We came across this brand from a long night of social media perusal but boy are we glad we wasted endless hours scrolling to find this gem. Lily King is an independent gift shop and boutique based in North London and is home to a wide range of beautiful designs. This small business prides itself on stocking unique pieces with beautiful details to their aesthetic. The collection of face masks are created from a stunning oriental-inspired, 100 per cent cotton fabric. Handmade in London, the designs vary from a gorgeous tiger in the jungle print to ones with Japanese crane birds in floral patterns or an art deco print. Comfortable, breathable and reusable, these masks are in high demand so if you see a design that takes your fancy (I mean, don't they all?), snap one up fast.
Making the cut as we've never seen such fancy and intricately-designed face masks. It shouldn't come as a surprise though; Sassi Holford is known for creating bridalwear on the day-to-day. Not only are the masks made from 100 per cent Egyptian cotton but the lace and tulle designs will ensure you're the best dressed for any occasion which requires you to leave the house. On a serious note, we are aware that so many weddings had to be postponed due to Covid-19 and although some are allowed to take place in certain countries, restrictions are still in place. For anyone still able to hold their wedding but in need of face masks and social distancing measures, these masks could be an aesthetically pleasing answer. In addition, 80 per cent of the proceeds from each face mask sold will be donated to Women's Aid.
Whichever mask you choose to invest in, it is important to remember that wearing a face mask will reduce the chances of spreading any viral infection by a large percentage. This chance is made even smaller if both people are wearing masks during any form of intentional or unintentional interaction.