Inspired by the bravery of frontline workers across the country and the world who are working tirelessly against the terror of Covid-19, I began making reusable fabric masks to try and make a small dent in the shortage of PPE that essential personnel must wear to keep themselves (and us) safe.
Since mid-March, with the help of some iconic sewing elves, I have been able to donate thousands of free masks to those on the frontlines of this pandemic. During this time, many have reached out with requests for masks, patterns and encouragement.
In order to try and fulfill these requests, Michela and I have been working around the clock to try and produce as many masks as possible and to try and get them to those in need. Since the recent guidelines from the CDC, encouraging #masks4all, we have been trying to figure out the best way to get masks to the general public while still focusing on providing free masks to healthcare workers.
After careful consideration and lots of back and forth, we've put together a tiered system that we believe will be able to facilitate what people are requesting while still focusing on the needs of health care professionals.
1. An easy no-sew tutorial so everyone can feel protected if they have to work or do essential errands during this time.
2. A limited run of Space Masks for general sale. The limited run is because while of course we would love to be able to get masks to everyone who wants them, our focus has been, and remains getting free masks to healthcare professionals. The price is based on wanting to make them as affordable as possible while still considering the time and cost of materials that goes into each mask.
3. A limited run of special addition artist-prodcuced masks featuring some of my favourite artists. These will be priced a little bit higher than the space masks, as I will be paying the artist for their work and the cost of printing the art on 100% cotton quilting fabric. A lot of people are out of work right now, but artists, whose work often depends on commissions and can already fluctuate greatly, are particularly vulnerable right now. This series is coming soon.
4. A VERY limited run of my "Covid Couture" bow masks. These take longer to make and require a lot more material. I went back on forth about making these for sale but I wanted to do something special for the fashion fans who have given me this platform to be able to share mask making with so many people.
5. FREE masks for frontline workers. To date, we have shipped out thousands of masks all across the country and several internationally as well. We have been paying out of pocket for supplies and shipping, and selling #masks4all will help mitigate these costs. We have also been on the receiving end of some incredible generousity from local upholstery companies, McLaughlin Upholstery and Zimmans in Boston and of course, generous donations from people who want to contribute but can't sew. In an ideal world, we would be able to immediately accommodate every request from front line workers, but unfortunately, we are only two people, and although we are working as fast as our hands will allow, it's simply impossible to fulfill every request in a timely way. To combat this, we have enlisted the help of a very talented graphic designer @sophielondon to make the patterns we use accessible to all so people can sew in their own communities. We want to encourage people to "think globally and act locally".
We will restock any items that are for sale through the site when we can but because we are focused on getting masks to front line workers, we can't predict when the restocks will be so we suggest checking the site regularly.
If anyone has any question that are not answered, you can contact Michela at firstname.lastname@example.org OR if you would like to contribute to making masks for front line workers, you can do so via Venmo: @an_erin
Erin and Michela