Face masks have become “must-haves” in our daily routines. They are currently recommended to be worn when venturing out of the home. They are also now mandated to be worn in any indoor spaces including stores, coffee shops, salons, libraries, community centres, museums, clubs, and even work. Pretty much anywhere that is an enclosed area will insist on covering up properly. Most of us will agree that some coverage is better than nothing.
Not gonna lie, I’ve already sourced out six different mask sellers for myself. Of course, you can buy the disposable one-time use version but there are more and more options coming into the market that are washable and environmental-friendly.
What you should consider when purchasing face coverings/masks:
- Fabric — is it multiple layers? irritating to the skin?
- Does it have an option to add in a filter? Some sites will sell additional filters
- How many times does it recommend washing?
- Ideal to have a nose wire built-in for better individual fit.
- Sizing — check each site for description and measurements. You’ll want to make sure it will cover your nose, mouth and chin.
Here are a few we’ve come across that are from Canadian labels! Yay! Note that these are NON-MEDICAL GRADE face coverings suitable for everyday wear for most people. According to the medical healthcare professionals, we don’t need the N95 grade masks –but front line workers do.
CILQUE: ($29 each) The Toronto based brand is known for its range of heavyweight 100% Mulberry silk charmeuse bed sheets. Recently they’ve included a face mask with an inner pocket so you can add a filter if you wish. We love this version as it’s gentler on your face. Also with every online order, the brand will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Children’s Aid Foundation.
FREON COLLECTIVE: This small-batch and local manufacturer based in Toronto offers hand-made low-waste beauty and lifestyle goods. Face masks are made with 2 layers of soft 100% organic cotton, printed with water-based inks. Includes ties that are adjustable for every face shape. Designer Nancy sells out quickly. She usually posts in the morning when she’s has a batch ready.
IZZY CAMILLERI: Canadian designer shifted her focus a few years ago to address the needs of those who have mobility issues and living with health aids (wheelchairs). Her line IZ ADAPTIVE offers stylish and functional pieces with a close eye to the details. Her business has added cloth face masks in a collaboration with Maison Birks to provide much-needed masks to hospitals. The collection is made with eco-friendly fabrics for everyone but particularly, those with limited dexterity. She’s also added transparent masks so lip readers or smile readers can continue to communicate.
HAYLEY ELSAESSER: ($25)Toronto-based designer is known for her fun, pop culture line of clothing. You can’t help but smile when you see her colourful prints even if it’s behind a mask. Several patterns available and sell out quickly.
THE STORM CROW: Designed exclusively for the raging fun bar & eatery (or we call the coolest-nerd place in the world — Vancouver/Toronto) and totally next level. Their collection of masks is described as “Post-apocalyptic products for social distance warriors.” The Diablo-inspired Storm Crow Legendary Mask ($20) began as a prototype but quickly became a sought after item for COVID times. Double-layered with adjustable ear bands for maximum comfort and protection. The Alliance Mask face ($10) covering is stretchy and comfy. The Storm Crow custom printed Tuberz tubular face covering ($20) is super comfortable made with stretchy fabric and great even for kids. Can’t decide? Go for the Ultimate Mask Pack ($49)which comes with one Legendary Mask, one Tuberz Mask, and two Alliance Masks.
PEACE COLLECTIVE: ($30 / 2 pack) From the makers of the “Home is” line of clothing and accessories. This machine washable and reusable face mask is made with multi-layered 100% cotton fabric and includes a filter sheet. The filter adds an extra layer of support to facilitate safe breathing and to ensure that harmful particles are removed. Hand-sewn in Toronto. Nose wire sewn in for better fit. Various colours. For every pack of masks purchased, they will donate a mask to a frontline worker.
KIT AND ACE: ($15 each) Their “Go Anywhere Face Mask” is designed with three-layer construction, the exterior layer is made of water-repellent cotton, the middle layer uses the SILVADUR™ antimicrobial technology to maintain freshness and prevent odour, and 100% silk inside for ultimate breathability and comfort against the skin. Adjustable nose clip. 100% of the profits donated to COVID19 relief efforts.
OAK + FORT: Several options available from this minimalist line originated in Vancouver. Style #6349 ($8 each) is a more generous coverage without elastics. This face mask is made of smooth 65% cotton and 35% polyester blend. It’s made with comfortable side straps for easy wear. Style #6495 ($24 each) offers neutral colours for a fresher look. Cut from a breathable 50% cotton and 50% linen blend and is detailed with slim side straps. It has generous coverage to wear comfortably throughout the day. Style #6493 ($24 each) is cut from a soft 100% cotton fabric designed in a double layer with generous coverage. Its ear loop side ties allow a customizable fit to your preference and great option for those who don’t like elastics around the ears. More styles available on the site.
SEE YOU SOON TORONTO: ($15 each) The very popular style is constantly being restocked. The two-ply microfibre interior makes it comfortable and washable. Available in their Shopify store. Each purchase also gives back to local Toronto hospitality businesses impacted by Covid19.
ELLIE MAE STUDIOS: ($20-$25 each) This Canadian designer makes her masks with an ear loop and optional ties for maximum fit and comfort. Sewn in Toronto with repurposed luxury fabrics sourced from European mills, each mask has a slip pocket that can be fitted with a custom filter for added protection! Proceeds from all face mask sales have continued to help support Feed the Frontlines TO, and a portion of our Liberty of London floral mask sales will be donated to Black Health Alliance.
SHAR WILSON/FINAWEAR: ($16.50 to $20.50) Indigenous-owned business. This beautiful selection of masks feature the authentic art is created by Indigenous artist Shar Wilson, Gitxsan Artist of Victoria BC. Each mask is printed, cut, sewn and made on-demand in Canada. 5 designs available.
ROOTS CANADA: ($22 each) This all-Canadian favourite retailer has repurposed their manufacturing operations at their Leather Factory to make non-medical and comfortable face masks by hand in Toronto. For every face mask purchased, Roots will donate one medical grade face mask to a frontline healthcare worker. Roots Reusable Lightweight Face Mask features a lightweight design made with broadcloth fabric, which is woven from lighter, thinner yarns for breathability. Roots Salt and Pepper Reusable Face Mask in the popular sweatshirt material (65% cotton and 35% polyester) has a slip pocket that can be used to place a filter material within, including any kind of HEPA filter, which may improve effectiveness.
HELENE CLARKSON DESIGN: ($20 each) This Canadian designer known for her versatile women’s travel clothing line now makes this Happy Hour Face Mask. It’s one of the most sophisticated ones we’ve come across with a concealed opening that fits a straw so you can sip your favourite cocktail safely. The masks are washable and come in three styles: denim, charcoal denim or gingham.
CHRISTOPHER PAUNIL: ($18+ each ) This Canadian designer always draws a solid crowd during Toronto Fashion Week. Now in between special orders for his gorgeous evening and bridal wear he’s also creating lovely face masks. You’ll want to check out his blingy sequenced version to add a little sparkle. Each face mask is cut and sewn in his studio in Toronto, Canada. For each face mask sold, $2 will be donated to Toronto based charity UForChange. Several styles available. Reversible. Washable. Available in three sizes.
MAYANA GENEVIÈRE: ($18.50 +) Locally produced by this Canadian women’s undergarment company with it’s manufacturing factory located in Toronto. Made with ethically sourced fabrics and sewn by fair wage earning seamstresses. Cloth face masks are made using 100% cotton with a high thread for best performance. A tight knit woven quilters cotton fabric for the outer layer and a soft comfortable cotton knit lining, duel pocket insert for your filter and nose wire.
ETSY CANADA: There are countless artisans with hand-made masks available for everyone. We’ve purchased several with fun patterns and more conservative professional ones for work. You can also find Etsy sellers that make matching face masks with dog bandanas and bowties as well as hair scrunchies. Canadian labels we love (and have ordered from) include StumpyPaws Bowtique (Vancouver), and redsdoggo (Toronto).
TELUS CRITTER & NATURE THEMED FACE MASKS: No, not for your pets but fun for little kids (recommended ages 6 and up) and adults. The company continues with its “critters” and nature theme featured in the ads and marketing materials. Masks are sold in packs of 3 with ALL proceeds donated to the Telus Friendly Future Foundation to support public healthcare efforts and Covid-19 relief efforts. Masks are dual-layered and made out of 100 percent recycled polyester on the outside and 100 percent organic cotton on the inside Made in Canada. Good time to stock up for the little ones!