It’s proving quite a redemptive time for fashion right now. As the real world faces the global COVID-19 crisis, some of its better-clothed parallel universe has continued to peddle the dream of fierce looks. Other big names, though, have taken the chance to absolve themselves of consumerist sins.
Yesterday, Valentino donated two million euros to the Italian healthcare system. LVMH—the mega conglomerate in charge of Louis Vuitton, Dior, FENDI and the like—have turned their hand to churning out hand sanitizer. Prada, meanwhile, have started producing thousands of overalls and face masks to do their bit.
We welcome this, obvs. But the true heroes are the brands that have been doing good since the start. Enter: WAWWA, Manchester’s finest and purveyors of wicked sustainable streetwear.
Swapping their usual fare for protective wear, the team will be making over a hundred masks a day in-house. Of course, they’re environmentally friendly— made from 100-percent ripstop cotton and kitted out with a recycled brand label.
The best news? They’re washable for repeated use—by hand at 60 degrees, no less. The studio folk are working hard on incorporating some new colourways, too, so you can catch ’em all.
“After reading about the effectiveness of masks from the World Health Organisation and the UK’s mass shortage of protective equipment, our collective thoughts at WAWWA Clothing was to turn our attention to manufacturing as many as possible,” co-founder Sean says.
It won’t make you invincible, though. “To clarify, the masks aren’t a magic bullet,” Sean adds, “and we advise everybody to still follow the official WHO advice in addition to wearing a mask to limit the spread.”
In order to meet demand (they sold 250 overnight!), they’re setting up shop in a disused shipping container. They’ll also be giving them out free to food banks.
Long story short: at tmrw we do appreciate and recognise the work that many of the high fashion brands are doing, but it shouldn’t overshadow the efforts of those who have been preaching goodwill from the start nor mask problems the industry is still to overcome.
The WAWWA face mask is available for £12 here.