In a reversal of earlier guidance that Americans don’t need to wear face coverings in public in order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the White House is expected to announce in the coming days that wearing a mask, or covering the face with a bandana or scarf, is in fact advisable, according to memos created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shared with the White House this week.
In a copy of the guidance obtained by The Washington Post, the CDC recommends that “the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of virus to those around them.” President Donald Trump added in a press briefing on Thursday that “I don’t think it will be mandatory,” and a White House official told the Post that the guidance would be “narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission.” That largely tracks with what medical professionals told GQ earlier this week: that wearing a cloth mask isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s better than not doing anything.
The memos and guidance that the CDC shared with the White House clarify that N95 respirators and surgical face masks, both of which are in critically short supply, should be reserved for health-care workers. So if you’re going to wear a mask—and you should; just listen to these experts—what are your options? Here is a running list of designers and manufacturers who are creating non-medical-grade masks—we’ll update as more information becomes available.
Ball and Buck
For the masked sportsman. Ball and Buck’s camo mask will keep you safe(r) on a trip to the grocery store, and also well camouflaged in the deer blind.
Can a face mask be…sexy? Check out Maison Modulare’s French lace version and tell us we’re wrong.
Natalie Chanin is a longtime practicioner of “slow design,” making hand-sewn and machine-made womenswear garments in her factory in Florence, Alabama. All her pieces are made from 100% organic cotton sourced from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative in Lubbock Texas. Her non-medical grade masks are made from tight-weave cotton that is less permeable than standard cottons, and are washable and reusable.
Recently, Naomi Mishkin explained the troubles she was facing in shifting her Naomi Nomi line to mask production. The first handful of obstacles have been overcome—civilian masks are being made, and every purchase means one is donated to a healthcare worker. They’re sold out for now, but join the waitlist and check back over the weekend for increased stock.
American Blanket Company
Denser than a standard cotton or paper mask, these are made from polyester fleece. It’s like wearing a blanket on your face, but more breathable. (The world’s coziest mask?) American Blanket Company will donate a mask with every purchase.
Citizens of Humanity
The denimheads of Citizens of Humanity have turned their jeans expertise to mask-making. $25 gets you a pack of five in assorted washes—just right if you want to match to your favorite jeans.
New York upstart Collina Strada was one of the breakouts at New York Fashion Week back in February, some 37 years ago. Now, designer Hillary Taymour is sending along a free mask with every purchase. If you’ve been jonesing for a T-shirt with nipple piercings, now’s the time.
You might know Buck Mason as a direct-to-consumer brand well-liked for its T-shirts. Now, they’re turning that tasty cotton into masks.
Los Angeles Apparel
Los Angeles Apparel, the company founded by American Apparel founder Dov Charney, is selling three-packs of masks in several different colors. It says mask purchases will fund its ability to donate masks, and to cover costs at its factories.
Eveybody.world is also selling Los Angeles Apparel’s black face masks. In this case, though, proceeds go directly to the Everybody.world’s employee-relief Rainy Day Fund, which it says it set up to offer more paid time off for factory workers during the pandemic.
New York-based furniture company Classic Sofa has a ton of face masks available in three different sizes and several different colors.
Canada-based company Take Care Supply was founded specifically to make masks in response to the coronavirus epidemic. The company says its masks will ship in two to seven business days.
Peri is using deadstock fabric to make its face masks, which it still has available in three different colors. Good luck finding a croc-print mask anywhere else!
A 10-pack of Swimspot’s basic black masks will ship in 5 to 7 days.
Reformation’s 5-pack of face masks are out of stock, but they company says they might ship in a week or two. You can join the waitlist now.
Goodfight promises its mask will ship by April 15th. It also says they for each purchase, they’ll donate one to an L.A. institution in need of personal protection equipment.
EllieFunDay’s face masks won’t ship for another two to three weeks. But if you buy one the company will donate another to a local hospital.
CustomInk’s masks are set to ship April 15th.
Christine Shirley’s owner Paige Sullivan is making masks out of the fabric she has lying around in her Pennsylvania studio. If you have colors you prefer, you can say as much in the order notes, but there aren’t any guarantees. You should be able to get your mask in 10-14 days.
The Oula Company
Oula says its masks will ship in one to two weeks. They feature a random fabric—likely one that’s super colorful.
Whimsey + Row
Whimsey and Row’s face masks are currently out of stock, but you can join the waitlist to be notified when they come back in stock. For each one you buy, the company will donate one to an institution in LA, like Union Rescue Mission.