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Masks in Fashion

Masks in Fashion

Masks have been an option for most of us all our lives socially, but the year 2020 brought upon us a pandemic which has us struggling to figure out what the "new normal" is. We began the year with standard surgical masks, and even though they are the most effective, many brands and companies saw this as an opportunity to embrace this necessity.
Let's look into the inception of this idea behind this trend. The world took a pause, and with Covid19, health and safety regulations increased tenfolds. The spread of the virus had countries going into lockdown and business, and trade was all halted briefly to break the speed at which the pandemic was taking lives around the world. The easiest way to stay safe was to stay indoors and when the need arises to go out, to wear masks and to sanitise.

Lockdown Fashion, as one could call it, has transcended into our daily lives and to make it acceptable, lifestyle companies are turning it around as an opportunity to market their products and services that can make the process for the consumers easier. Although this was primarily a homegrown idea, with several jobless people making masks for the general public while being quarantined at home, businesses around the world picked up this trend rapidly.

The 'trend' part of this escalated when designers made outfits with matching masks, whereas, some businesses make masks out of leftover fabric scraps and on the other end, some make masks for the functionality of it either out of organic material or by following the guidelines for maximum protection. Some businesses adopted this line to help out-of-job workers and artisans who faced the ugly brunt of the pandemic. Many companies also sell masks and forward the profits to charity organisations, homeless and the needy.

Major designers like Louis Vuitton, Guess, Abujaani Sandeep Khosla, Shivan and Naresh, Gucci, Prada etc. have joined the mask-making bandwagon. While most of them are doing it not to make money but to help society, they are still on the pricier side. Although the main idea would be to encourage the concept of safety, precautions and responsibility towards improving yourself and those around you, this initiative does raise awareness undeniably, and the intention is one of goodwill and adaptability.

Although there seems to be a debate on whether masks should come with a price tag or not, we appreciate the effort and this week; we focus on a few designers and brands that are making masks with the criteria of functionality, innovation and creativity.

Lushbazaar - @lushbazaar
This brand is an ethically made couture line that employs local artisans and shares profits with the low-income regional workers. Lush Bazaar has always worked to uplift the community with providing jobs, training individuals and building their future. Their foundation for establishing a sustainable fashion line is to empower the local craftsmanship and to represent their product in the western market, sourced from India.
Not only are the masks made from sustainable fabric, but Lush Bazaar also offers a buy-one-give-one deal with the sale of these masks providing one mask to those struggling with a free mask with every mask purchased by a client.

Masaba Gupta - @houseofmasaba
Masaba is not an unknown name in the world of fashion. The symbolic print, the unique styles all scream individuality.
The designer delved into masks to be able to give back to the community and for her business to survive the pandemic. The washable non-surgical masks are made whilst maintaining proper hygiene and ethical standards of work.

Okhai - @okhai_org
Okhai works to support and uplift the dying art of handwoven tribal craftswomen to empower and encourage them to self-reliance and growth. Okhai incorporates olden methods of skill with innovative processes that can help inspire consumers to help improve the lives of tribal women.
Masks by Okhai are beautifully hand embroidered, and the brand maintains its tribal inspiration by tassels and trinkets on the masks. The motive behind selling these masks is also representative of their commitment towards the upliftment and support to the tribal artisans in times of struggle.

Fable Street - @fable.street
Fable Street makes clothes for the working woman and their niche is the details they perfect themselves in for the professional woman.
Their decision to make masks was to upcycle the fabric scraps in warehouses and not only are they compliant to government guidelines, but they are also ethically produced under sanitary conditions.

MeCraaz - @mecraazofficial
This brand is known for its love for the Kashmiri art and skill of the local artisans and craftsmanship. Their products showcase the love for all things Kashmir to the world - from Pashmina to Copperware, to rugs. Masks are a new addition to the collection with simple, triple-layered, breathable, fabric. Their creative designs also come with an option of beaded straps and chains on the masks that add a touch of personalization to the concept.

Bellofox - @bellofox
A homegrown fashion brand with almost everything in their name. Bellofox is known for its wide array of items and apparel that are inexpensive and trendy.
Masks by Bellofox are the most in variety with for options to choose from. They have a choice in cotton masks, kids masks, valve masks and an extensive assortment to choose from. Their conscious effort to sell inexpensive masks and donate a share to charity is what makes them a preferred choice by their customers.

Maryam Syed

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