At the start of the pandemic, there was much debate as to whether the public should be wearing PPE such as masks and gloves in public. While it’s now clear that unless you are a doctor, gloves are a waste of time and could create more cross-contamination that prevention.
Masks, on the other hand, should be used. But not the disposable surgical types NEEDED by medical staff. Using disposable masks is expensive, unsustainable, unhygienic and is creating a shortage where they are needed most – in hospitals.
Masks are good protective gear for the public to employ as they limit the transmission of airborne droplets contaminated with the virus. A reusable, washable, double-layered mask is what everyone should opt for. Seriously, ditch the apocalyptic look, stop creating unnecessary waste and high demand for PPE imports from other countries – instead support some of these fantastic LOCAL initiatives below, including our initiative selling masks and hand sanitizer – contact, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Without further ado – here are the coolest reusable masks being locally made and distributed in South Africa.
Bobby Yarn is a fantastic, local company specializes in making unique bags and handbags. In light off the pandemic, their creative team have redirected their efforts into creating safety masks in an array of wonderful and funky designs. The masks are selling at R40 a piece, are made with two layers with a filter pocket and are washable and reusable. Bobby Yarn has also donated many masks to essential workers and has been able to keep their seamstresses employed during these uncertain times and have even hired more help! Visit their Facebook page or contact to place your order and support local business. Visit their site for contact information and to order.
A crazy series of events brought two local manufacturers together during the COVID 19 pandemic. Poly, a local swimwear brand and The T-Shirt Bed Co.
Banded forces to supply the increasing need for cloth masks in SA. In three short weeks, they have had to double production capability TWICE and have even taken on new premises for much-needed space. They are most proud to be able to offer work to unemployed seamstresses in this time of need. Their masks are highly protective with three layers including a spun-bond inner which is the same fabric as used in medical masks. The masks are elasticated, contoured to the face and incredibly comfortable to wear. Proud suppliers to Doctors Without Borders.
Ubuntu Baba who specialises in infant and children’s wear has been making stunning hemp safety masks in light of the pandemic. The masks come in light, neutral colours and each mask comes with 5 x Brits D15 filters. The masks are selling at R120 a piece or R1000 for 10. Hemp is hypo-allergenic & naturally anti-bacterial and known to be x3 more durable than cotton and more sustainable than other fabrics. For more information and to place your order, visit their website right here.
Mzansi Masks is selling masks retailing between R90 and R100. You can order their masks online. The reusable masks are available in child and adult sizes in a variety of fun designs and colours. The company is delivering nationwide during lockdown. Dor more information and to order, visit their website.
Originally a maker of wedding accessories and gifts, N’waMburhi Accessories now also makes customised masks that retail at R50 apiece. The masks are made from various traditional Tsonga material and can be ordered via Instagram direct message or Whatsapp (078 177 6627) with deliveries taking place nationwide.
Founded in 2014, the sock and jock maker now sells cloth face masks retailing at R55 apiece. The masks can be bought from their website and they deliver nationwide. Order yours right here.
House of Hohwa
A fashion line founded by Zimbabwean-born designer, Kuda Matiza, the company is currently working in partnership with the Newtown Junction Mall, in Johannesburg, to make cloth face masks for the public. The masks retail for R100 on House of Hohwa’s website and they deliver nationwide. Order right here.
Ballo is a fantastic Cape Town company is known for making sunglasses, clothes, hat hangers, and even pots from recycled materials. Their masks are made from discarded pieces of material at R150 per unit. They are also donating 1 mask to someone in need, for every mask purchased on their website. Place your order right here.
Mia Melange, based in Stellenbosch are currently making masks that retail for R75. A portion of the masks’ sales will be donated to Stellenbosch Unite, a collaborative aid action for the support of vulnerable communities during the pandemic. Place your order here.
#MasksforGood, an initiative by Exemplar REITail and the Youth Employment Service (YES), who are supplying FREE cloth face masks to shopping centres in townships and rural areas across the country. The masks are made by local seamstresses and are distributed free of charge at shopping centres owned by Exemplar’s McCormick Property Development group.
Though masks are free, donations can be made at the shopping centres. Donation details are available at the various centres.