Right now many places are bringing back mask mandates as the number of COVID-19 cases start to rise again. The good news is companies are still making non-medical grade face masks for daily protection from COVID-19.
A lot of us are getting vaccinated to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (if you haven’t gotten a vaccination card protector, you might want to get one now), but demand for the best cloth face masks — especially the best breathable face mask options — is still strong, in part because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) masks in public settings for unvaccinated people. PPE masks are usually made from breathable fabric like cotton and differ from a surgical mask and N95 respirators that experts say should be reserved for health care workers who are caring for the sick.
In times of crisis, it’s heartwarming to see companies we love and support giving back using the tools and skills they know best. While many people use a disposable face mask, others prefer a reusable cloth mask. Nordstrom, the largest employer of tailors in the country, has trained its alterations teams to make face masks to distribute to health care workers, while designer Christian Siriano’s small team of couture sewers is making 2,000 cloth face coverings per day. Dior has similarly pivoted to making face masks for those on the front lines in France. Burberry is using its global supply chain network to fast-track the delivery of 100,000 surgical face masks to the U.K. National Health Service’s medical staff and Prada began producing face masks and medical overalls at its factory in Italy.
Beyond that, lots of brands are selling directly to consumers — including some that donate face masks to health care workers and others in need with every purchase — or offering a free mask with every purchase. Which is especially great now that more people are opting to double-mask for extra protection. FYI: The CDC guidelines recommend washing your reusable face mask regularly (with detergent, in the washing machine); not touching your eyes, nose or mouth when removing them; and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer immediately after taking your face mask off. And now that many people are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, a vaccination card holder helps keep that card just as handy as your mask.
Many retailers have started offering face masks that are alternatives to true personal protective equipment (PPE), which are disposable and predominantly used by medical staff. These everyday, reusable cloth face mask and cloth face covering options include face masks for adults, face masks for kids, clear face masks, face masks with matching outfits and face masks for exercising. Well-known apparel and fashion brands like Levi’s, J.Crew, Athleta, Old Navy, The Honest Company, Forever 21, Gap and Kim Kardashian West’s SKIMS sell their own lines of masks as well. Additionally, check out ET Style’s curated list of face mask accessories.
We’ve rounded up many of the companies that are producing and selling adult-size non-medical face masks to help fight the global pandemic (see face masks made specifically for kids here). Ahead, shop ET Style’s picks of the best face masks to buy in 2021.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the World Health Organization website.
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