Gone are the days when people didn’t have to think twice about taking a stroll down the block for a quick dose of fresh air, and all that was needed was a coat, the house keys and shoes. It was a simple process requiring bare minimum effort. Fast forward to the Pandemic era...now you have a checklist to mark before leaving the house to make sure you have all the necessities such as gloves, face mask, sanitizer, disinfectant spray, etc. Over time our subconscious has started to accept the new requirements, reaching a point where these commodities are slowly shifting from safety purposes to also looking visually appealing. Safety gear is gradually turning into (we dare say), a fashion statement?
Coming in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs, old and new brands alike have sprung into action to meet the demand for more visually appealing face masks to wear daily. Not entirely keen on the safety aspect of the protective face cloth, a lot of brands are offering face masks that ‘look good’ and are not necessarily up to the medical-grade required to serve as protection. Some examples include Mask Mee and Maskerade DXB. The former being a sustainable face mask brand offering customizable collections for both men and women; the latter is a fashionable and reusable face mask brand catering to the spontaneous and expressive bunch.
At the same time, Two Metres Please is a brand aiming to raise awareness and support those in need. They encourage people to buy recyclable merchandise that consists of masks, T-shirts, hats and totes with a big yellow circle and a message printed on them which can become a visual reminder of the 2-metre rule. Merchandise printing is procured and produced locally to support the community. Buyers and users of the merchandise will not only be reinforcing the physical distancing message but will also be supporting local charities in need of financial support as all proceeds will go to a local government-approved charity that focuses on people with special needs.
Despite the rise in face masks that appeal to the fashion market, some brands have shown responsibility in manufacturing proper medical-grade masks that look good when worn as well. Fine Guard has come out with their line of medically approved face masks that check both the safety and sustainability boxes, claiming their understanding for people to feel safe and secure when leaving the house and not having to be fearful of falling ill. The brand respects the expenditure restrictions consumers have implemented on themselves to live out the quarantine, offering reusable masks that are washable and come at a much cheaper price tag. Fine Guard has also shown the adamant need to keep the environment healthy and pollution-free even after the pandemic has passed. The team behind this brand is making sure that the world we step into after crises will be a changed one that needs to be protected more so if not equally.
Regardless of the fashionable or medical purpose of the face masks being produced by different brands, a lot of people have resorted to spending less in the aftermath of the pandemic. With layoffs and salary cuts on the rise people have turned towards DIY face masks techniques for designing and decorating them as they wish while not having to spend a single penny to restock from the local pharmacy. This has become an entertaining and useful hobby for individuals in quarantine. Social media has also seen a surge in influencers, brands and individuals posting tutorial videos on how to sew your own home-made face masks along with details on customization and types of materials to fulfil the safety criteria.
Given the different viewpoints the general public has in regard to face masks, it is important for all individuals to educate and be aware of the proper method and type of face masks that need to be worn, especially given the current situation. These guidelines and methods have been highlighted in a short yet detailed video by WHO (World Health Organization) to make sure both affected and non-affected regions across the globe are aware of the use and method of wearing a face mask.
#StaySafe and be cautious!