In an unexpected panic to keep their local communities safe, we’re proud to be witnessing the kindness and generosity of Canadian fashion brands during the pandemic thus far. Whether they’re producing their first line of protective equipment for hospital staff or donating to health systems across the country, companies big and small are making an impact when it’s needed most.
Here’s a look at how Canadian fashion brand’s are helping to fight COVID-19.
As the realities of COVID started to set in, Nonie‘s founder Nina Kharey asked herself: what can I do with the resources I have? The brand has always focused on sustainability, and producing masks would provide a new use for deadstock fabric. She had the factory capabilities and a team that needed work, so making masks was a no-brainer decision. The team at Nonie has reassembled their facility to manufacture and distribute reusable masks that are available for purchase and free of charge with online orders. Their PPE masks are now lined with OR fabric and fights airborne and waterborne ingression. Plus, for every mask sold, Nonie donates one to an organization in need, like a local women’s shelter or hospital campus in Calgary.
Piper & Skye
Piper & Skye founder Joanna MacDonald felt a sense of responsibility to the members of her community as the impact of COVID-19 became a reality, so she took action by employing over 30 home-based sewers from across Canada to help manufacture non-medical grade masks. In collaboration with seamstress Heather Shaw, kits for mask production have been distributed to the newly assembled team. Piper & Skye has committed to distributing over 2,000 masks to female victims of abuse at safe houses like Aurora House (Toronto), Hope Mission (Edmonton) and Deborah’s Cafe (Vancouver), among others. 20 per cent of all Piper & Skye’s sales will go towards the production of protective masks as well.
Toronto-based Encircled is selling face masks that are perfect for when you’re heading out for some fresh air, in an uncrowded, open space. Five packs are available for purchase and donation, and all masks being donated will go to the Michael Garron Hospital #PPEDrive. Pre-order yours here.
Olive & Splash
Melanie Wong, the founder of Olive + Splash, has creatively converted her warehouse into a ‘drive through experience’ to let customers safely pick up comfortable, bamboo cotton face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Olive + Splash is donating masks to community and front-line workers. The brand started creating the masks to offer an alternative to the homemade bandana style masks it saw people wearing. The benefits of bamboo are numerous: it’s an antibacterial fabric, it has built-in temperature controls, is hypoallergenic, UV resistant and avoids any harmful chemicals in the processing of fabric. They are also available in two sizes – regular and mini (for kids). The Olive + Splash drive-thru operates every day from 10am-2pm.
Post Office by Shannon Passero
Hailing from Niagara, Shannon Passero has partnered with a women’s co-op to create non-medical masks and surgical caps for donation to Community Care St. Catharines and Thorold and Niagara Health. They’ll be distributing the protective equipment to hospital visitors, discharged patients, and the community to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Every $5 donation made to Passero’s initiative will provide one machine-washable mask or cap to someone in need. You can make yours here.
Joseph Tassoni, a proud Canadian and local fashion designer, is doing his part in the fight against COVID-19 by pivoting his fashion studio toward creating and manufacturing machine washable masks and gloves in the hopes of keeping Canadian workers safe while keeping the local economy working. To do his part for the community, $5 from each purchase of his locally sourced and re-usable masks or gloves will be donated to Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, where his store is located.
OS & OAKES
OS & OAKES is working with their Toronto production team to make non-medical fabric masks. The masks will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers and to units within London hospitals. Each mask is $5 and is made out of a mixture of cotton and bamboo. Donations are being accepted here.