Where to Find Eco-Friendly, Reusable, and Sustainable Fabric Face Masks

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written by:  Anna Shuster

editor's note:

Anyone else feeling guilty about the impact their PPE is causing or is it just me? I’ve found reusable masks are a great investment to try to stay true to my sustainability goals as well as a way to grow accustomed to the new normal. Keep reading for some awesome brands that cover the intersection between eco-friendly and pandemic-safe.

written by: Anna Shuster

editor's note:

Anyone else feeling guilty about the impact their PPE is causing or is it just me? I’ve found reusable masks are a great investment to try to stay true to my sustainability goals as well as a way to grow accustomed to the new normal. Keep reading for some awesome brands that cover the intersection between eco-friendly and pandemic-safe.

Cotton and fabric masks are going to be a vital accessory as you complete daily activities for an indefinite amount of time. They keep you, the ones you love, as well as everyone else around you, safe. We believe that wearing a mask when we go outside is the least we can do as everyone grapples with what it means to be responsible in the era of COVID-19. This responsibility also extends into conscious consumerism— choosing to opt for reusable masks made from environmentally friendly materials in ethical supply chains (when financially able).

While research shows that fabric masks are not as effective as N95 or surgical face masks at preventing disease spread, health officials around the globe, like the World Health Organization (WHO), agree that wearing a cotton mask is definitely better than not wearing anything at all. We’ve rounded up a few resources for you to purchase reusable and eco-friendly masks from, below. Don’t forget to wash them thoroughly after each use, and as always, our advice is not a substitute for medical advice.


United by Blue

Price:

$20 for a 3-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Recycled Leftover Fabric

Our Take:

United by Blue has an ethical supply chain and lists exactly which factory these masks were created in. Not to mention, if you purchase this 3-pack, they’ll donate a mask to Philadelphia’s homeless community. Make those dollars count!
United by Blue makes their masks from deadstock fabric (leftover fabric from items that are no longer for sale). They utilize a blend of hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. All of these are great fabric swaps because they either use up less water, contaminate less water, or give new life to something that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.


Rothy's

Price:

$25 for a 2-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from 100% Recycled Plastic

Our Take:

Rothy’s 3D prints thread made from 100% recycled water bottles and marine plastic. Their technology allows for a breathable and durable thread that produces less carbon emissions in the manufacturing process. Rothy’s also aims to offset their remaining carbon emissions through their partnership with the Envira Amazonia Project that works on rainforest conservation.
These bright masks are made from recycled materials and are fully machine washable. Rothy’s has also raised upwards of $45,000 through their partnership with other brands to form and run The Open Innovation Coalition for COVID-19 relief. They have also donated 100,000 masks through Mask Match.


Known Supply

Price:

$32 for a 3-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Upcycled Organic Cotton

Our Take:

Known Supply is Fair Trade certified and prides itself on using sustainable fabrics. They also have a cool feature where you can search who made your product keeping the supply line incredibly transparent and gives credit where credit is due.
These comfy masks from Known Supply are made from upcycled cotton fabrics that they would usually use for their t-shirts. They saw a need for sustainable masks and responded to it. In the process, they also ensured factory jobs for their label partners during the economic strain COVID has created. Supporting them keeps their workers employed, recycles fabric, and keeps you safe!


LA Made

Price:

$55 for a 5-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Localized Supply Chain & Cotton Blend

Our Take:

LA Made is run by two Taiwanese immigrants who value their employees and even make all their products in the same building that their offices are in. On top of treating employees with the respect they deserve, they have a strong sustainability initiative. They source 95% of their fabrics locally. They also feature an innovative material, Lenzing Modal, which sources less water than cotton in 80% of their products.
LA Made creates masks from locally sourced materials and even have a collection special for the summer. Their summer collection utilizes a breezy cotton blend with reduced fabric density for dual protection from COVID-19 and sweltering heat.


Anchal Project

Price:

$20

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Upcycled Organic Cotton

Our Take:

Anchal Project is actually a nonprofit that pioneers social change through their business model. Run by women, they prioritize addressing employment inequality by offering fair-wage positions that allow women the opportunity to become less reliant on sex work or leave it altogether. Social Impact Programs such as skills training, education, stress-management workshops, and health services are all features of Anchal Project. Supporting them supports women who have been systemically underserved.
Anchal Project’s masks are made from organic and vintage cotton fabric scraps that are leftover from their other products. These stylish masks were originally hand-embroidered in Kentucky.


Taylor Jay Collection

Price:

$21

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Repurposed Cotton in a CA Fair Trade Factory

Our Take:

Taylor Jay Collection is a Black woman-owned business that uses recycled and upcycled threads. They pride themselves on providing products for all women to enjoy and feel confident in. Their products prove ethics and style aren't mutually exclusive.
These masks made from repurposed cotton are incredibly stylish and a great way to enhance your outfit. Protecting yourself, the ones you love, and the environment can look THIS good.


Nisolo’s Mask Marketplace

Price:

Featured Atoms Copper Mask at $12

Sustainable Spotlight:

Pre-vetted Collection of 100+ Sustainable Brands

Our Take:

Nisolo, one of our already favorite shoe destinations, has curated a Mask Marketplace that ranges in price from $12-$45 and has been ranked for you by style, comfort, function, breathability, and sustainability. Check it out!
This affordable mask from Atoms is one of the top 5 featured on Nisolo’s Mask Marketplace. It is copper-lined adding additional anti-microbial properties to the fabric. Atoms is also transparent about their carbon offset initiatives and water usage when dying fabrics allowing consumers to make a well-informed choice on the eco-footprint they are leaving.

United by Blue

Price:

$20 for a 3-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Recycled Leftover Fabric

Our Take:

United by Blue has an ethical supply chain and lists exactly which factory these masks were created in. Not to mention, if you purchase this 3-pack, they’ll donate a mask to Philadelphia’s homeless community. Make those dollars count!
United by Blue makes their masks from deadstock fabric (leftover fabric from items that are no longer for sale). They utilize a blend of hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. All of these are great fabric swaps because they either use up less water, contaminate less water, or give new life to something that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.

Rothy's

Price:

$25 for a 2-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from 100% Recycled Plastic

Our Take:

Rothy’s 3D prints thread made from 100% recycled water bottles and marine plastic. Their technology allows for a breathable and durable thread that produces less carbon emissions in the manufacturing process. Rothy’s also aims to offset their remaining carbon emissions through their partnership with the Envira Amazonia Project that works on rainforest conservation.
These bright masks are made from recycled materials and are fully machine washable. Rothy’s has also raised upwards of $45,000 through their partnership with other brands to form and run The Open Innovation Coalition for COVID-19 relief. They have also donated 100,000 masks through Mask Match.

Known Supply

Price:

$32 for a 3-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Upcycled Organic Cotton

Our Take:

Known Supply is Fair Trade certified and prides itself on using sustainable fabrics. They also have a cool feature where you can search who made your product keeping the supply line incredibly transparent and gives credit where credit is due.
These comfy masks from Known Supply are made from upcycled cotton fabrics that they would usually use for their t-shirts. They saw a need for sustainable masks and responded to it. In the process, they also ensured factory jobs for their label partners during the economic strain COVID has created. Supporting them keeps their workers employed, recycles fabric, and keeps you safe!

LA Made

Price:

$55 for a 5-Pack

Sustainable Spotlight:

Localized Supply Chain & Cotton Blend

Our Take:

LA Made is run by two Taiwanese immigrants who value their employees and even make all their products in the same building that their offices are in. On top of treating employees with the respect they deserve, they have a strong sustainability initiative. They source 95% of their fabrics locally. They also feature an innovative material, Lenzing Modal, which sources less water than cotton in 80% of their products.
LA Made creates masks from locally sourced materials and even have a collection special for the summer. Their summer collection utilizes a breezy cotton blend with reduced fabric density for dual protection from COVID-19 and sweltering heat.

Anchal Project

Price:

$20

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Upcycled Organic Cotton

Our Take:

Anchal Project is actually a nonprofit that pioneers social change through their business model. Run by women, they prioritize addressing employment inequality by offering fair-wage positions that allow women the opportunity to become less reliant on sex work or leave it altogether. Social Impact Programs such as skills training, education, stress-management workshops, and health services are all features of Anchal Project. Supporting them supports women who have been systemically underserved.
Anchal Project’s masks are made from organic and vintage cotton fabric scraps that are leftover from their other products. These stylish masks were originally hand-embroidered in Kentucky.

Taylor Jay Collection

Price:

$21

Sustainable Spotlight:

Made from Repurposed Cotton in a CA Fair Trade Factory

Our Take:

Taylor Jay Collection is a Black woman-owned business that uses recycled and upcycled threads. They pride themselves on providing products for all women to enjoy and feel confident in. Their products prove ethics and style aren't mutually exclusive.
These masks made from repurposed cotton are incredibly stylish and a great way to enhance your outfit. Protecting yourself, the ones you love, and the environment can look THIS good.

Nisolo’s Mask Marketplace

Price:

Featured Atoms Copper Mask at $12

Sustainable Spotlight:

Pre-vetted Collection of 100+ Sustainable Brands

Our Take:

Nisolo, one of our already favorite shoe destinations, has curated a Mask Marketplace that ranges in price from $12-$45 and has been ranked for you by style, comfort, function, breathability, and sustainability. Check it out!
This affordable mask from Atoms is one of the top 5 featured on Nisolo’s Mask Marketplace. It is copper-lined adding additional anti-microbial properties to the fabric. Atoms is also transparent about their carbon offset initiatives and water usage when dying fabrics allowing consumers to make a well-informed choice on the eco-footprint they are leaving.



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