By Keeley Ryan
As phase four of lockdown nears, it is more important than ever to wear a face covering.
The HSE and gov.ie both advise people to wear a face covering when finding themselves in a situation where it is difficult to practice social distancing, with the government announcing late last month that they would soon be mandatory on public transport.
So, really, it’s good to have one to hand when you’re going to be out and about. If you haven’t gotten a mask yet, there’s some good news.
Many Irish designers began to produce their own face masks during lockdown, meaning there’s plenty of options available to you — whether you’re after a neutral coloured one, or one that will add a splash of colour to your summer wardrobe.
From breathable linen designs to ones with colourful cotton patterns, here are five amazing Irish designers who are selling face coverings (and how to get one for yourself).
We Make Good
Their masks are made by women from a refugee background, present and past employees of The Textile Studio, a charity that provides jobs and training to refugee women. Each of the masks are made remotely, using new cotton or linen.
If you buy a mask for €25, a mask will be donated to someone in Direct Provision. They also sell children’s face masks for €12.50.
Mask Your Face
Handmade by three sisters in Donegal, each mask is made with three layers of fabric and can be machine washed. They make sure to keep fans updated as to what’s still available — as well as what’s going to be coming up — through their Instagram Stories, so make sure to be quick if you see one you like.
You can get one mask for €6 or 3 for €15 — plus shipping, which is €2. They also offer children's masks for €5. If you want to order one of their colourful masks, make sure to check out their website here (https://mask-yourface.myshopify.com/collections/).
These masks are made with two layers of 100 per cent cotton, natural and eco-friendly — and come in a variety of colourful prints and patterns to suit the whole family.
Prices begin at €8 for children’s face masks, with 10 per cent of each sale donated to Clarehaven, a charity supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse. They also include the option to buy a face mask pouch (€9.80), which will help you keep “cotton face masks clean and handy in your car or purse and has room for a small bottle of hand sanitiser”.
Irish Linen House
These breathable, naturally antibacterial and anti-allergenic masks are handmade in Smithfield using 100 per cent sustainable Irish linen – and they come in a number of different colours, with the most recent addition to the line-up being a very summery lilac.
Each mask costs €19, with a percentage of profits donated to The Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People and Depaul. You better be quick if you want to nab one for yourself, though — they sell out very fast, but they also restock their options often.
Zoë Carol’s reversible face coverings are made in Rose Cottage Studio using a layer of 100 per cent Baird McNutt Check linen and a layer of 100 per cent Emblem Weavers Wexford Linen. The Sunburst Check pattern is definitely giving off a very summery vibe, if you ask us…
With prices ranging from €22.50 for children’s face coverings to €32 for a face covering set (pack of two, plus a travel pouch), each order comes in a pack of 2. €2 from every order will go to Depaul.