The face mask business is now seen as lucrative with the problems that come with climate change and for protection during the global pandemic.
My fascination with face masks and coverings began in my first year of university when I was searching for options to protecting myself while running in London. Now, fast-forward to two years later, my interest was again piqued as the bush fires were rampaging across Australia earlier this year. The global pandemic now has many of us opting for face masks. These masks that started out as simply medical and protective have now become effective and fashionable. A reusable face mask has become an essential part of how we exist outside of our homes. There have been many brands churning out face masks, though it seems we may be transforming national and global tragedies into fashion trends, and what does that illustrate about ourselves?
In Asia they are commonly used and are a normalized aspect of society. Although, after one look at the west, all you will see are the many opposing comments on face masks. You will find people wearing filtering face masks, medical-grade face masks or cotton face masks among others. I have been roaming around looking at what brands are releasing in their new collections as stores re-open and it seems they are targeting the consumers who are searching for stylish, long wearing and comfortable options.
It seems I may have been too quick to judge. A mask can sometimes look combative, rather than protective, so by making masks fashionable they make consumers more amenable to wearing them and much more comfortable wearing them. These masks should, perhaps, be viewed as attempts to normalise masks in our own societies. The brands can use it as an opportunity, but it’s not something necessarily desired, especially considering how much the global crises are affecting the fashion industry and retail industry.
The differences between societies and their attitudes towards face coverings across the globe differ greatly. In western societies there has been a multitude of health crises yet face masks never became mainstream. The ethos of liberalism and freedom are too hard to let go it seems. In some eastern societies face coverings are considered as preventative measures. They should be worn for at least trying to control anything that can affect an individual’s or another’s respiratory health or their health in general from viruses, pollution and pollen.
Aside from changes in cultural norms in face masks, we should know how to choose an effective one, and how to wear them properly. A surgical face mask and other personal protective equipment must be prioritized for medical staff and frontline workers, in turn, you can find a non-medical face mask from recent collections.
It needs to fit. The mask should be properly sealed on your face. It should also be tight and properly strapped on. If the face covering sits comfortably on your face, then you can breathe properly without any restrictions. You should also ensure that your face masks are clean. That means having good hygiene and health by making sure you mask is washed regularly. I recommend getting a little pouch for your mask so it’s easy to find and protected when in your bag or around the house. When it comes to makeup, avoid lipstick, and set your face products. My first mask looks like I tried to make love to it the second I got it.
The government guidelines should be met. You can do it with protective accessories that are also stylish. Stay safe, remember to sanitize and protect yourself, and follow social distancing rules even as lockdown begins to ease.