Face masks weren’t exactly in any style guides and predicted trends for 2020, but thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic, this is where we’re at.
Of course, social distancing is your first line of defence against the Coronavirus, but due to the second wave currently sweeping Victoria, the state government have urged residents to wear masks when they leave their homes, following large daily increases of the pandemic this past week. Premier Daniel Andrews said people in lockdown areas should wear masks in situations where they cannot maintain physical distancing, including shopping, travelling in a cab, using public transport or going to work – however it is not mandatory.
And while Melbourne areas are bearing the brunt of the rise in infections – the number of active cases in Geelong remains at five at time of writing – many Geelong locals are looking for ways to lower the risk of contracting the virus, including investing in face masks.
Thankfully, we’re no longer in the phase of the pandemic where only option is to grab a bandana if you’re wanting to mask up, with many local designers making functional and stylish options.
Here’s a few of our favourites. Please note due to high demand, some of the businesses have sold out of face masks.
Mum makes Mask’s, $10
Another local doing her bit for the community! Starting off by just making masks for her family and friends, ‘Mum Makes Masks’ is now available to everyone in the local area. All the masks are handmade in a smoke free home and are 100% Australian cotton, double layer face masks. Adult masks are $10, while kids masks can be purchased for $7. Collection only from Mount Duneed.
Made by Gabbee, $10
Gabbee is a local creative who runs a small business out in Armstrong Creek, Made by Gabbee. Reaching out to locals, Gabbee currently has lots of prints available if anyone is in need of a mask. For $10 each, she recommends two per person so you have a clean backup at all times! To request a mask, simply message Gabbee via Facebook or Instagram.
You might recognise the name from recent media surrounding Emipeli Designs campaign for the Soothing tactile and sensory clothing. Prior to her journey into this, the Geelong designer began by selling hand made face masks, upcycled clothing, paintings and other little things. With the current demand for face masks sweeping Victoria, you’ll now be able to purchase Emipeli Designs face masks once more. The masks will be uploaded to her website www.emipelidesign.com (if they’re not there yet, they will be soon) and every cent of profit will be going toward the campaign goal for her sensory denim jackets, so you’re supporting small business either way!
Mia & Lottie, $10
Another local creative specialising in bibs, clothing, hair accessories and items for babies and children, Mia & Lottie have added masks to their list of items available. For $10, these reusable masks have triple layers, made with the type of material and layers that the Department of Health & Human Services has recommended. One size fits most, elastic ear loops are adjusted for the perfect fit. Kids size as well.
Please note, there is currently about a one week waiting time for new orders. Simply inbox the FB page to place your order.
Lockdown Graphics, $15
If you’re after some pretty sweet designs, Lockdown Graphics have you covered with their trendy DHHS Approved three layered masks. The outer layer is 100% polyester, mid layer is 100% cotton and face layer is 100% cotton, ensuring you’ve got the protection you require. There are tonnes of designs too, from solid colours to prints including graffiti, skulls, leopard, there’s literally a design for every taste. Child Size is suited to 3yrs to 9yrs, while adult size will fit most,
Please note, due to the demand it can take up to two weeks to get your mask, but they’ll continue to supply as soon as they can! Check it out via the website.
PinkTokyo Creations, $15
Pinktokyo has long being creating clothing to keep your kids looking fresh and feeling comfortable, focusing on unique patterns and materials so that your kids can standout from the crowd… and now face masks have being added to the equation.
You’ll find child sizes up to 8-10 years, and adult sizes for 10 years old and above in a range of patterns. You just need to keep an eye on their Facebook posts and comment SOLD in comments of the mask that you wish to buy – first in purchases.
Pickup available in Geelong, but postage can be arranged.
Geelong Illustrators, $15
Geelong Illustrators is a platform for illustrative artists to collaborate and inspire through group exhibitions, meets, mutual support and crafternoons and has long being a go-to within the community for when you’re looking for something unique, made locally and affordable. And now they’ve added cloth face masks to the list, lovingly handmade by their creatives.
You can find them via their studio gallery at 105 Moorabool St, Market Square, behind the bus stop outside. Open Monday to Saturday 10-5.
Handmade Card Store, $35.08 – SOLD OUT
Based in Geelong, local designer Carolyn has been making handmade goodies for the past few years and now it’s her masks that have captured our attention.
With tonnes of different patterns available, from The Simpsons and Harry Potter, to sloths, Frenchies, Spiderman and even camouflage, there’s a design for absolutely everyone. Made from a patterned cotton top layer, with a dense weave cotton under layer, there is a filter pocket on reverse and a slit to slide a wire through to give a better fit around the nose. For an even better seal the mask can be used with double sided tape or ‘Hollywood tape’ across the nose or under the chin. The mask has elastic sides to fit over your ears, the mask is designed to go right up to your ears, and elastics hold it in place comfortably.
They come in three different sizes so buyers are encourage to check the size guides before purchase. You can buy them on Etsy here.
The Type 1 Foundation, $18.95
The Type 1 Foundation is a not-for-profit that supports individuals and families living with Type 1 Diabetes who are also selling face masks online.
Handmade by a Type1 Mum, these masks are washable and reusable, made with three layers of cotton as the lining as per the VIC health guidelines and the water resistant fabric gives you more protection than a standard fabric one and you can add a filter if you desire. The masks are available in teal, grey and black and can be purchased online via their merch store.
Better still, 100% of proceeds go back to supporting Type1 individuals and families with programs, awareness and support.
Surf Coast Face Masks, $30
Surf Coast Face Masks are a local business that cares for our community, ensuring that those that want to reduce the risk of themselves, their families and their employees of contracting respiratory disease or inhaling pollutants have the resource to do so. Providing protective equipment for a while now, their TGA (Therapeutical Goods Administration) registered KN95 masks are a great option if you’re looking for something super reliable! For $30, you can get a pack of five face masks, suitable for medical environments to aid in protection from dust, haze, vehicle exhaust, air pollution and reduce the risk of contracting respiratory diseases. Head to their website at www.surfcoastppe.com.au.
Cotton On/Typo, $9.99
A Geelong institution, Cotton On’s Face Masks are a great option if you’re looking for the convenience of purchasing online, while still supporting a great cause with 100 percent of proceeds raised from the sale going to their in-house charity, contributing to empowering youth through quality education and access to healthcare, including vaccinations, pre and antenatal care, the distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and HIV treatment and prevention.
Made from cotton, each mask fits comfortably with adjustable elastic straps. These masks are tested to a KN90 standard and filter at least 90% of airborne particles down to pm2.5, and they come in a range of different designs and colours. You can’t go wrong.
You can find them online here.
Laura’s Lovelies, $19.99
For something a bit more luxe, this Geelong-based designer is selling her reusable handmade Face Mask, with non-woven filter layer and nose wire included. The masks are made from patterned cotton woven top layer, and a layer of cotton flannel, with a layer of heavy non-woven interfacing sandwiched in between which acts as a filter layer. There is a strong, flexible piece of wire sewed securely between the fabric layers allowing for the mask to be adjusted to help ensure a secure fit.
There’s a range of patterns (from animals, florals, geometric and even Harry Potter designs!) and different sizes for individual face shapes. These masks are made to order, depending on your custom requests, so you can be sure that you’ll be getting something that fits!
You can purchase these from Etsy here, and all items will be shipped from Geelong.
Caterina Co, $15
This local designer is just getting started and from what we see so far, expect big things to come.
Offering five different mask designs, these are not only a stylish addition to your wardrobe, but can also help to defect infectious illnesses. It has three layers to help filter out bacteria, these being made of tie dyed linen, cotton and canvas for the green and pink Tie Dye masks; printed cotton drill, cotton and canvas for the Zebra print; a printed chiffon, cotton and denim for the Snake skin mask; and denim, linen and canvas for the Denim face mask.
Their simple design with elastic loops is both versatile in styling and comfortable to wear, and you can leave the house knowing you’re sporting a unique, one-of-a-kind look!
You can buy them online here.
Renata’s Dressmaking, $15
Renata is well-known and well-loved in the Geelong area for her alterations for everything from formal wear, bridal gowns, dance costumes to business suits, jeans and shirts, and even soft furnishings. I myself can vouch for her skill, having saved me last minute from an online purchase gone horribly wrong.
Renata began making masks back in April due to the high demand and shortage of supplies, and she hasn’t stopped since. The masks feature 100% two layers cotton, wadding lined, washable and reusable and come in both adults and kids sizes.
To order one through Renata, simply private message her on Facebook and make your request. Postage or contactless pick up available from Geelong.
This one is another local Geelongian making handmade, reusable masks from 3 layers of 100% non-stretch cotton.
These masks are made according to current Australian government recommendations to ensure the most effective protection and are custom made especially for each individual. They are available in a range of patterns as well as solid colours and come in three sizes – small, medium and large. Make sure you check the size guide in photos before purchasing.
If you don’t resonate with any of the patterns on the site, you can contact the designer with a theme or idea and she’d be willing to source some options for you, making it even easier to stay safe AND stay cute.
They are currently at capacity with orders, but will hopefully be able to take a few more each week. Keep up to date via Facebook.
You can purchase these from Etsy here, and all items will be shipped from Geelong.
Idle Hands Print Co
Based in Geelong, this hand printing and design studio has made a name for themselves with their stylish beanies, tees, hoodies and tote bags, and soon they’ll also be adding face masks to the list.
Available in adult and kids sizes, these masks are double layer fabric washable masks with a pocket area for removable filters, a metal nose strip for a more snug, safer fit and elastic ear straps. Currently they’ve got some stock available which will be put online very soon. Interested buyers are encouraged to message them via social media.
View this post on Instagram
House of Heath, $10
House of Heath is the venture of a local creative who rediscovered her sewing abilities and the creative flare, creating vibrant handmade gifts for baby, kids, adults and the home, including baby playmats, change mat clutch bags, beanies, character hats, table centrepieces, placemats and drink coasters. Now she’s helping in providing the public with face masks. Available in three sizes – kids, small adult and large adult – the cotton masks each have an insert to put in a tissue inside to provide extra protection. There are a number of designs to choose from – as you can see below. You can purchase a mask for $10 with contactless pickup in Torquay, otherwise $3 for standard post, and $12 for express.
There is currently a 1.5 week wait on orders.
Lainie Brookman Couture Dressmaker
Lainie is a talented local fashion designer specialising in bridal, bridesmaid, flowergirl and special occasion dresses – and her designs are simply stunning! Now she’s been busy making masks for her loyal customers, friends, family and beyond. You can trust your mask will be made with love and precision with Lainie. There is however a two week wait on face masks due to high demand. Send her a message or visit her website if you’re interested but please be patient, everyone is working as hard as they can to answer all enquiries.
View this post on Instagram
Sarah T Russo
This local maker is currently producing adult and kids sized masks in different fabrics. She’s currently in the process of creating a proper page, but if you’re interested, you’re encouraged to private message her on Facebook.
Okay we said seven locals, but we just had to add an eighth. It’s not a small business per se, but SisterWorks is a not-for-profit organisation supporting female refugees, asylum seekers and migrants by providing work and empowerment through commerce – meaning we just had to add them in!
The group operates hubs in Bendigo, Richmond and Dandenong where women can attend a range of programs, all focused on learning by doing. With hubs forced to close due to lockdowns, the group began creating masks so that its community, one of the most vulnerable in Australia, could still earn an income. The masks are made from home, keeping sisters employed while social distancing.
These masks are made from donated cotton fabric and loose-weave muslin, with a pocket to insert extra layers, or a filter, and are available in a range of designs for both men and women. 50% of the profits goes directly to the migrant, refugee or asylum seeker Sister that has made the mask.
They’re not exactly local, but it’s a really great cause to get behind if you’re looking for a quality mask. They’ve also got a tonne of other great reusable products on sale as part of Plastic Free July.
You can buy them online here.
Please note. This article only lists a few small handful of the many local designers and at-home sewers producing some quality masks, and in no way are we implying these are your only options. Facebook marketplace and community groups will be your go-to if you’re wanting to look at some other options.
Be safe Forte fam.