Frank and Oak —Count on the Montreal maker of minimal basics to create a super smart face mask ($24/set of two). Hand sewn by the in–house design team using upcycled men’s shirts, the masks are in high demand (they’re being restocked regularly), but if you want to try fashioning your own, the brand released a design template and instructions. All of the profits from mask purchases are going to Moisson Montréal, which distributes food donations to organizations throughout the city.
A roundup of designers and brands from coast to coast creating stylish versions that give back. (Please note: The Public Health Agency of Canada is now advising that Canadians don non–medical masks that have at least three layers.)
Medium Rare —While they normally outfit kitchen staff with heavy–duty aprons and apparel, the Calgary chefs behind Medium Rare (Cam Dobranski and Andrew Dallman) are now producing face masks ($25). For every mask purchased – the design features a filter pocket and a soft internal wire for a face–forming fit – Medium Rare is making one for a frontline worker, too.
Glasnost —Fit for the whole family: Vancouver designer Stephanie Schneider of Glasnost, which specializes in rainwear and leather goods, is fabricating masks (from $16) in four sizes and lining each with a different colour so you can keep track of whose is whose. One dollar from every mask order goes to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
Feeling Mathieu Caron —Now for something completely different: Quebec designer Mathieu Caron has made a limited–edition collection of luxury masks (from $200) inspired by his iconic figure skating costumes. All proceeds from the sales of his luxury mask collection are donated to the COVID–19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
Tanya Taylor —Just like her flouncy dresses and tops, Toronto–born, New York–based designer Tanya Taylor’s upcycled fabric face masks (US$35/pack of three) are colourful, feminine and fun. With every purchase, the brand creates a non–medical grade mask for healthcare workers in the U.S. and Canada.
Photo: Stephen Brown
Terre–Neuve —Our Newfoundland–based photo editor Lori Morgan is behind these handcrafted masks ($14), making them a team favourite. Choose from whimsical wilderness, nautical or cabin patterns, or keep it neutral with basic black. Whatever you choose, one dollar from the first 1,000 masks sold is going to The Gathering Place, a community health centre in St. John’s.
Lennard Taylor —The Winnipeg–based designer values the art of creating conscious and ethical women’s clothing, and applies the same level of care to his cotton masks ($20). Fabrics are hand–selected and then skillfully crafted into masks that last; prepare to be pleasantly surprised when yours arrives, as prints vary depending on what’s available. A portion of proceeds from mask sales is being distributed to community charities such as Ronald McDonald House and Winnipeg Harvest.
Photo: Catherine Addai
Photo: Catherine Addai
Kaela Kay —Life is too short to wear boring masks: Add one of Toronto designer Kaela Kay’s bold and bright creations (from $23) to your collection. Kay uses colourful Ankara textiles that celebrate the beauty of Africa and works with local seamstresses to produce her pieces – masks included. For every mask purchased, one is donated to healthcare facilities.
IZ Adaptive Clothing —While she has dressed celebrities including Meryl Steep, Angelina Jolie and David Bowie, Izzy Camilleri is a pioneer in adaptive clothing design, believing that style freedom should be available to all. The creation of this denim lip reader mask ($20) keeps the deaf and hard of hearing community in mind as it is designed with a clear plastic centre. Plus, 20 percent of proceeds from each mask purchased is donated to Canadian Hearing Services.
Narces —Bring the runway look to the streets with these tastefully elaborate masks (from $30) created in various colours, patterns and fabrics, from jacquard satin to crochet lace on gold lamé. The Toronto–based womenswear line has already donated thousands of masks to local healthcare institutions using funds raised from mask sales.
Londre —The best–friend duo behind this Vancouver swimwear brand uses recycled plastic (they’ve collected more than 100,000 plastic bottles from the streets and beaches of Taiwan) and abstains from harmful chemicals – so their masks ($39/set of two) are also sustainable. The face coverings come in Desert Sage and Rose Pink colours, with a filter pocket and adjustable ties. For every set purchased, a healthy meal is provided to a single mother–led family in need.
Anne Mulaire —The Winnipeg–based French Métis eco designer fashions premium bamboo knit masks (from $15) that provide comfort and security for all–day wearing. The masks are available in the brand’s Héritage designs, which honour the tradition of the Red River Métis, including the silk embroidered Catherine’s Vine print. A portion of proceeds go towards donating masks for community organizations and healthcare facilities.