Back in March, my good friend sent a care package from Hong Kong, wisely intuiting what the most precious treat would be over the coming months in the UK. Blue masks, the kind with the thin metal strip to press tightly to your nose, single use and sadly seen strewn on the sidewalks as the PPE expansion will no doubt leave more waste than desired.

And now that the stores are re-opening this week, and an edict by Transport For London making it mandatory to wear a mask when on public transportation, the search for an elegant, but effective, mask to protect others is fully underway. We've curated some worthy investments in our new face furniture here below!

Joanna Dai's Mask For Heroes
Joanna Dai launched her tailored womenswear-focused label with the ambition of creating comfortable professional wear. With pop-up shops in East London and new investment, her brand has resonated with working, British women everywhere. Now, she launches
Masks for Heroes with four styles sewn in natural and biodegrable fabrics including both cotton and silk.  You can also buy one knowing that a portion of net proceeds will go to the NHS and other charities in need.  Note that the 100% cotton styles feature a performance antibacterial silver-fibre lining and come in black and chambray. The masks are non-medical grade and made in London and Portugal by Dai’s premium quality factories.

Sonia Carrasco 
A CSM grad whose womenswear line focuses on using sustainable fabrics has just launched sales of an upcycled sustainable face mask online.   Sonia will donate €10 to the NGO that she has partnered with, FUNDACIÓ ARED, helping women victims of abuse and at risk due to the lockdown. The face masks are made from leftovers of Sonia's SS20 collection and 100% organic cotton. With space to add filters, these are also non-medical grade but will serve protection with style.

Need something to complement a bright and cheerful outfit? Printastic London-based brand Valle&Vik have come up with colourful options to offer a washable mask. These face coverings are made up of repurposed surplus organic silk materials from their collections, and can be hand washed, in hot water and then safely stored in their matching silk protective bags. Here too, all proceeds from the Valle&Vik facemasks will be donated to the NHS.

Liberty 's Face Coverings

Three specially treated layers are constructed into these fun, upcycled Liberty of London cotton face coverings – available in an assortment pack of five randomly packaged together for £40. Designed in-house and produced in Italy using their registered Tana Lawn™ cotton, these will give you classic floral fabulousness for your face! The covering is machine washable and retains its specialist treatments for up to 20 washes. The cherry on top? For each set of coverings sold, one covering is donated to a charity of Liberty's choice - click on the image below to buy!

Temperley London
Alice Temperley has been in lockdown with her son in Somerset, and keeping busy dreaming up new clothes but also using off-cuts of fabric from previous collections to create these couture coverings. I was a lucky recipient in the post, but will need to find out if they will be selling them in their newly re-opened Bruton Street, W1 store!

More floral fun with Pazuki's painterly, decorative face masks from this London-based print focused brand. Pookie Blezard, the Creative Director with potentially the cuddliest name in British fashion, has been designing colourful, joyful print-heavy dresses and scarves for decades and her foray into face coverings for our post-lockdown days is embellished with colourful ribbon and elastic fastenings. 

Great British Designer Face Coverings
Last but not least - the British Fashion Council has teamed up with Bags of Ethics and several British designers to create non-medical face coverings, retailed at £15 for three reusable, washable, fabric face coverings with two protective pouches. With brands like Raeburn,  Halpern and Liam Hodges contributing, you'll find something right for you.  The project aims to raise £1 million with 100% of sale profits going to charity and split between NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.