The fashion world is stepping up in a time of need: Countless companies are now making, selling and donating non-medical grade face masks for daily protection from COVID-19.
Demand for cloth face mask options has soared in recent months, in part because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) masks in public settings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. PPE masks are usually made from breathable a 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 giving back using the tools and skills they know best. 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 the production of face masks and medical overalls at its factory in Italy.
And 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, like Frankies Bikinis. New to wearing face masks? The CDC guidelines recommends washing your 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.
Below are just a few 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). Due to high demand, product supply may be low or sold out and shipping might be delayed -- popular brands like Forever 21 and Banana Republic are currently sold out of their face masks. We're updating this story frequently to keep you up to date.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the World Health Organization website.