TRAVELLING on public transport in England? It’s now compulsory that you wear a face mask when using buses, trains and more – but where to buy them and what type to go for?
Disposable face masks are being handed out at many stations, but many of us are understandably concerned about the environmental impact of single-use face coverings.
Not so Normal People. 🌸 #StayHome #StaySafe
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In fact, University College London found that if every person in the UK wore a disposable mask each day for a year, there'd be an extra 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste created. Ouch!
Reusable fabric masks are therefore the best option both for the environment and your purse strings, with many retailers now offering their own versions to save you the trouble of fashioning your own.
While wearing a face mask can't protect you from catching Covid 19, evidence suggests that face masks can help to reduce transmission of the virus and protect others around you — which is especially vital in enclosed spaces like the tube, where social distancing isn't always realistic.
What's the difference between reusable fabric masks and medical-grade masks?
The highest level of protection against the virus is given through surgical grade N95 respirators, followed by surgical grade masks. However, the government advises that these masks should be reserved for health workers or those at high risk, so it's best to stick to fabric face coverings.
Whether you're preparing to get back on public transport or want to cover your face when out and about, read on for our roundup of the best reusable face masks available online now — from the prettiest prints to the most practical of styles. Plus be sure to visit the WHO website for the latest guidance on how to wear yours, including washing it after each use.
1. Reformation's 5 x Face Masks
- 5 X Masks, £28 from Reformation – buy here
This five-pack of reusable masks by Reformation is ideal for buying for your household. Described as a 'lightweight drapey crepe fabric', the masks vary in print and colour, depending on the fabric Reformation have on hand.
And if their usual array of beautiful patterns and hues are anything to go by, you can expect these masks to be as pretty as they are practical.
2. Saint James's Set of 2 Reusable Masks in Striped Cotton
- Set of 2 Reusable Masks in Striped Cotton, £40 from Saint James – buy here
'Stay safe in stripes' declares the description of this pair of face masks, and we couldn't agree more.
Crafted from the same cotton as the iconic French clothing brand's sailor jerseys, these masks will add a touch of nautical style wherever you wear them, and are guaranteed for 10 washes.
3. CASETiFY's Pink Reusable Cloth Mask
- Reusable Cloth Mask, £12 from CASETiFY – buy here
Made from cotton and in a choice of block colours, this reusable cloth mask by tech accessory brand CASETiFY includes a donation of an FDA-approved surgical mask to a health worker in need.
So far they've donated 35,000 masks to Direct Relief and will continue to do so for every one of these masks sold. One for you, one for health workers: what could be better?
Each mask also comes with two filters, which provide extra protection against polluted air particles.
4. Brora's Cotton Face Mask in Liberty Fabric
- Cotton Face Mask in Liberty Fabric, £19 from Brora – buy here
Another brand giving back, British cashmere brand, Brora, has raised an amazing £100,000 for NHS Charities Together through the sales of their pretty face masks.
Now they've hit their target, they're donating £10 from every mask sold to other charities supporting those affected by Covid-19.
Made using Liberty print, each mask has elastic ear straps, an adjustable nose clip and comes in various patterns.
5. FaceMaskSupply's Washable Face Mask with Filter
- FaceMaskSupply Washable Face Mask with Filter, £13.95 from Etsy – buy here
They may serve a very practical purpose but there's no reason your face mask can't be perfectly on-trend, too.
With that in mind, it's time to nail this season's tropical trend with this eye-catching face mask by Etsy seller, FaceMaskSupply.
No, that's not a sentence we ever imagined we'd be writing, but 2020 happened and this equatorial face covering is the accessory we never knew we needed.
6. EverydayBasicss's 4 Layer Cotton Face Mask with Filter Pocket
- EverydayBasicss 4 Layer Cotton Face Mask with Filter Pocket, £6.99 from Etsy – buy here
If you're looking to make less of a statement with your face mask, this plain and simple style by Etsy seller EverydayBasicss is the one.
Made from pure cotton, it features a nose wire, adjustable earloops and a chin pad to ensure it's completely comfortable and secure when wearing.
7. Melifluo's Reusable Face Mask With Filter Pocket
- Melifluo reusable face mask with filter pocket, £12.99 from Amazon – buy here
Comfort may not be the first thing you associate with face masks, but if you shop around and check reviews you'll be surprised at how comfy some are in comparison to others.
This pretty floral mask has been rated by reviewers for its quality and breathability, with one user praising the adjustable features for being easy to use 'without being bulky and uncomfortable.'
It also has a filter pocket so you can add a non-woven filter to it.
8. Alice and Olivia's Protective Face Mask
- Protective Face Mask, £10.96 from Alice and Olivia – buy here
New York clothing company Alice and Olivia are another brand doing something positive through the sale of face masks.
They've been donating $1 from every purchase of this striking covering to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which provides meals to children in need.
Available in three colourways, we're particularly loving this Rainbow Stace Squad iteration, which is perfect for showing off quirky style.
Enjoyed our guide for the best face masks? Why not check out the best personalised jewellery?
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