Fashion designers become heroes as they turn out thousands of face masks

26 April 2020 - 00:00 By Thango Ntwasa
Face mask by Klipa Denim.
Face mask by Klipa Denim.
Image: Supplied

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit SA, every Tom, Dick and Henrietta has been adding face masks to their bulk purchase carts resulting in a resounding shortage of these essential items.

Luckily more and more local designers and fashion brands are stepping in to fill the void.

Carlo Gibson of Klipa Denim started creating face masks for himself and his staff prior to the lockdown.

He's since been supplying them to customers, and has started to produce them for hospital staff as well, with 6,000 planned to be available soon.

"I'm very proudly South African at the moment," says Gibson. "Fashion people ... are often left on the outside and now we are the ones right in the middle doing the best that we can."

Polo South Africa have challenged themselves to create over 250,000 masks to assist commuters in need.

Designer Joel Janse van Vuuren has created masks using cotton and polycotton with a denim inner.

Face mask by Joel Janse van Vuuren.
Face mask by Joel Janse van Vuuren.
Image: Supplied
Face mask by Watermelon Social Club.
Face mask by Watermelon Social Club.
Image: Supplied

The Watermelon Social Club has created tongue-in-chic masks branded with a watermelon slice resembling a smile. Their masks are made from Lycra, which allows a much more effective fit; they also cover much of the face making them helpful for those struggling to avoid touching their noses and mouths.

MORE THAN JUST MASKS

Face masks are usually in the spotlight as the most in demand, but other personal protective equipment is also a necessity.

Carina Louw of Erre has collaborated with fellow designers Isabelle de Villers and Jacques Bam to produce scrubs.

Louw had prepared for the lockdown by purchasing fabric, and ECG Clinical wear was of great assistance in supplying additional material for them to create clothing for nurses.

"When we started producing the scrubs we realised that the sizing was wrong for South Africans because they were using European sizing," says Louw.

"How the hell will you save somebody's life when you have to worry about your pants falling down, or your breasts are uncomfortable?"

This article is adapted from one originally published in the Sunday Times Lifestyle supplement.


subscribe