As quarantine begins to (hopefully) wrap up, we can only wait and see as to what else 2020 has in store for us. Just because quarantine is over, however, it doesn’t mean we can all go out and be all over each other. With a certain amount of social distancing being practiced, it is safe to say that society will – at least for the foreseeable future – be smothered in protective face masks. And due to the shortage of medical masks, most of us will be wearing homemade cloth masks – equally as protective, but decidedly more fashionable.
Mask-making has taken over homes for the better. After quarantine, fashion will undergo a necessary transformation, and wearing these masks will become the new norm. Countless DIY tutorials have been made and small organizations formed to aid in the production and distribution of these homemade masks. People have also made donations and are running fundraisers so that those in need can stay protected from the virus as well.
Making these new masks has not only brought society together, but also shows how we can be resourceful and creative while in quarantine. Because fashion won’t look the same again for a while, people have already begun experimenting with different types of fabric and various patterns to make their masks look more stylish.
For example, Californian designer Alyssa Nicole has crafted beautiful, chic black face masks and is selling them online. Others are donating their homemade masks to those in need. Companies, like Disney, have also been selling masks and donating their profits to charity so that children in underserved communities can be protected. Another example of this is Joann, a company bringing volunteers together to create face masks for donation.
Although some luxury labels have started taking charge, mask-making for the most part has stayed within American homes. This has allowed Americans to put their own creative spin on the masks, while also making them effective as a protective measure. My mom has made so many different masks, and each time she uses a different fabric or a different design. Every mask that she makes is unique, and she gets so excited every time she makes one. These masks don’t just signify a safety measure, but are also the result of a lot of creativity and care.
It will definitely take some time to adjust to these masks. They look and feel different every time we put them on. Popular fashion has had to progress beyond aesthetics and feeling. Now, we have to consider the safety and health of ourselves and those around us every time we get dressed. It’s a responsibility we owe to ourselves and to our communities. So go on, get masking.