Over the last month you guys have been loving our new cloth face masks. We chose some cute patterns for a fashionable look, tie straps to cater for different shaped heads and a low price to make them accessible to most people. But aside from the aesthetics of their design, we chose the components for a slightly more important reason: sustainability.
What’s so sustainable?
Our masks are made with 100% organic cotton, both the outer fabric and the lining, as well as the straps and the thread. We chose to use fabric straps, although far more fiddly to attach, to both enable people to tie them wherever they feel most comfortable but also to avoid elastic. This means that the masks are 100% plant-based and will eventually biodegrade. You will not find these masks in the Mediterranean ocean in 50 years time.
Environmentally, organic cotton is far better for the planet than non-organic cotton with several factors being considered. A 2014 Lifecycle Assessment by Cotton Inc. found that comparably, organic cotton contributes 46% less to global warming, results in 70% less acidification of land and water, soil erosion potential is 26% less and the demand for energy could be reduced by as much as 62%. Pretty much a clean slate all round for organics. The limitations on pesticide use and irrigation are the main factors in organic cotton’s cleaner footprint and not only protect the environment, but the farmers too.
These masks are also doing some good a little further from home. With each one purchased, we’re donating £1 from the price to our partner charity who are providing a masks for communities in rural Madagascar. That £1 covers the cost of the material, labour and distribution of a single mask there, so when you wear your mask, someone in Madagascar is wearing one thanks to you too!
Alongside that, we’ve chosen fabric suppliers who use prints created by independent artists who receive a commission every time their print is chosen, so we like to think that we’re not only supporting the needy, but the creatives too!
How does this fit with skincare?
Now you may be wondering why a skincare brand has suddenly gone slightly off-piste into making masks. At the heart of our brand is our goal to introduce and encourage more sustainable living in all parts of daily life, it just happens that we're best at the skincare part. When the pandemic broke here in the UK, we began to see numerous versions of face masks become available on the market, and not one of them had any kind of consideration for sustainability: polyester fabrics, single-use options and over-pricing. We felt that it wouldn't be long before disposable masks became a big part of our waste and pollution problem, and just a few months into the global crisis there are reports of them floating miles across the ocean.
There is also a more tangible link to skin. As our masks are made with organic cotton, they are considerably better to be worn on the skin, particularly facial skin which is much more sensitive than other body parts. Cotton is soft and comfortable, and the fibres of cotton fabrics are spun very tightly to prevent roughness, irritation and friction that results in static electricity. It is also breathable and able to draw heat and moisture away from the body which not only makes for a more comfortable accessory in warmer weather, but also for a mask that doesn’t leave you sweating in your own breath.
As you may have found with some lower quality or synthetic garments, especially things like cheaper workout clothing, sweat collects between the textile and the skin which can cause quite nasty acne breakouts. Typically these spots come up as red bumps without a head and can be quite painful until they have healed. Cotton allows air to reach the skin and reduces the stress on our softest and most delicate skin cells!
We hope that you have found our masks comfortable and easy to use. They are washable up to 60° but we recommend keeping the spin below 1000 as there is some hand-stitching which can only take so many tumbles at that speed! You can see all of our designs on the shop, and there’s a video on our IGTV with some guidance on how to tie your straps. If you have any questions about them, we would love to hear from you!
Stay safe and well!