Put it where your mouth is – the rise of personalised face masks

How do you express yourself through your clothing? Perhaps you like to wear specific colours, or prints, or styles. Over the past few months, a must-have fashion accessory (in every sense of the phrase) has made its way into the Leaving-The-House Checklist. Keys, wallet, phone…That accessory is, of course, the ubiquitous face mask. In the supermarket, in meetings, on the commute, in the workplace….masks are mandatory in public for most people in the UK, so we might as well make the most of them! That’s where personalised face masks come in.

Introducing the bespoke face masks

Amongst all the doom and gloom, one thing I’ve enjoyed recently is seeing the different designs people are choosing to wear. I’ve seen masks with moustaches, masks with Joker-style grins, plain masks or masks with colourful prints, and one I particularly enjoyed emblazoned with the slogan: “I was social distancing before it was cool”. Just the other day my mum was proudly showing me her new unicorn-print mask. There’s something encouraging about the many ways we can choose to jazz up our masks even as we hope not to need them forever.

Not only are masks a good opportunity to express yourself, but they’re also a great way to showcase your organisation, or to co-ordinate with a work uniform. A wide variety of services are now available to print masks with a company logo or colour scheme. Bespoke masks, made to order, meaning that face coverings can be just as much a part of the work uniform as the company jacket.

The sustainability factor

Personalised masks are also part of a wider movement towards sustainability. According to the UN, it is estimated that approximately 75 percent of used disposable masks will end up in landfill or the ocean. With around 13 million tonnes of plastic already spilling into the ocean each year, the increase in waste caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is adding to a growing environmental problem. Luckily, there is an alternative: reusable masks. University College London has investigated the environmental impact of reusable versus disposable masks and found that over a year machine washing your reusable mask had the lowest environmental impact. Having a spare on hand is also a good idea!

The materials are important, too. Whereas most disposable masks are made from plastic polypropylene which can persist in the environment for years, causing danger to animals on land and sea, reusable masks can be made of eco-friendly materials. You can even find some reusable masks made from recycled plastic bottles!

Embracing the trend

Sadly, Coronavirus cases are on the rise in many parts of the UK, and face coverings are a crucial part of infection control both in public and the workplace. But while face masks look set to be the norm for some time, there’s no need to compromise on individuality or sustainability. Personalised masks can be a great opportunity to express your own or your organisation’s unique style and put your money where your mouth is (literally) when it comes to saving the planet. The Leaving-The-House checklist continues keys, wallet, phone…face mask!

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