This feels like an unprecedented time in American history in a lot of ways. Yet, in many senses we find history repeating itself.
Here at A to Z our hearts go out to all those who are struggling in these uncertain circumstances. N95 and surgical masks are in short supply and should not be purchased by the public. We must demonstrate solidarity for our heroes in the medical professions—they are putting their lives on the line every day for people like you and me.
In lieu of these N95s and other professional protective masks, we heard that the CDC is now recommending that everyone wear cotton face-masks when leaving the house and we thought we would highlight some of the cool projects that clothes makers are engaging in right now when it comes to ramping up production of cotton protective face masks. Cotton masks have been shown to be effective in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as many other pathogens.
It should be said that these masks can be made at home and the CDC recommends 100% Cotton. we found this video showing how these masks can be made at home with things you probably already have. That being said we believe buying reusable cotton masks is a worthy investment right now, for more than just a couple of reasons.
We think daily-wear face masks are probably going to become much more common in the USA in the wake of this global health crisis, and it seems like a no-brainer to start wearing them even after the quarantine is over. Protect yourselves people!
Added ethical bonus: You are supporting American industry in a major time of need. AND most of these companies listed are providing a one for one mask donation to hospitals or communities in need. So while making a mask is great, this is saving two birds…with one mask?
Without further delay here are some American mask makers who are on the leading edge of providing quality cotton face masks to consumers and those in need in this time of national crisis.
Disclaimer: There is a HUGE demand for these masks right now. At the time of posting most sites were still accepting orders but we expect the situation to change as we move forward. You might not receive your masks for awhile, but there are DIY options (one is posted above that does not require sewing). If you make a DIY mask, you’ll probably have your machine-sewed, sturdy, machine washable masks in the mail by the time your DIY mask is falling apart.
STAY SAFE, STAY HOME!
Ball and Buck Original Camo Face Mask – one mask for $20, and for each unit sold Ball and Buck will donate a mask to an American hospital.
Ball and Buck is a great American sportsman outfitter established in 2008 located in Atlanta, Georgia. They are known for their high-quality fabrics, including their plaid, canvas, and leather. So you know you’re going to get a sturdy product that will stand up to a lot of use.
Buck and Mason Anti-Microbial Prevention Cotton Face Mask – $20 for Five, and they match 1 for 1 to hospitals in need.
We’ve highlighted Buck Mason, headquartered in Venice, California, before and we were excited to see they are stepping up and working on one of the most generous give-back deals on this list. Also they’re kinda pandemic chic so, maybe we can all pray that won’t become a thing, but we feel like it’s going to.
Alabama Chanin Reusable Cotton Masks – $12 per mask. AC also has implemented a donation system to provide relief and masks to healthcare workers.
This is a completely American product, doing it home-grown even in this time of crisis. Natalie Chanin makes fabulous hand-made and machine-sewed women’s clothing in Florence, Alabama. The cotton is double-layered 100% Organic Cotton, per the Alabama Chanin website, “The tight weave of this durable cotton creates a semi-impermeable fabrication that provides protection and breathability.”
These masks also have a pocket which you can insert filters to create another barrier. The masks are washable and reusable. Also suprisingly chic—even under the drastic circumstances.
Naomi Mishkin is a made-to-order garment line for working women based in Brooklyn, NY. Every mask you get will be made with exceptional care by the dedicated workers at her shop, Lauren, Lisha, Nino, and Faye. The masks are 100% oxford cotton in soft gray and are completely machine washable. You can also wash them in the shower each night and hang them to air dry, per their website.
American Blanket Company Fleece Face Mask – 5 pack for $29.00 Donations made to first responders with every purchase.
These masks are made from 2-ply comfort fleece which are super soft on your face and very breathable. These are denser than cotton and provide a good barrier for added protection. All are machine washable and dryable. Made in the USA from imported fabric.
Reformation Non-medical grade masks – pack of 5 $25.00 available for personal purchase or donation.
Reusable cotton masks with ties from Reformation. Yael Aflalo does it again with the pitch-perfect social action. You know you’re getting a quality product with this company, and you know it’s ethically and sustainably sourced material, manufactured in the USA.
Sanctuary Lifestyle Fabric Mask – Pack of 5 for $28.00 using revenue and resources to provide N95 masks to healthcare workers in need.
Sanctuary is using their resources and the revenue from these masks to provide N95 masks to hospitals and front-line workers in need.
NOTE: Usually we wouldn’t include Sanctuary, as their manufacturing and sourcing is generally done overseas. They are based in the USA, and all design and business takes place here. We decided to include them because we wanted as many reputable sources online that benefit the USA economy in this unprecedented time. Sanctuary also strives for sustainability which we feel to be an important part of fashion.
Again, stay safe America ♡