The mask has been the face (or lack of) of the people during this pandemic. There is not much we can contribute to stopping the spread, since most of us don’t have the expertise to make a vaccine or the experience to be a front line worker, but we can contribute by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in every situation possible.
While the disposable masks are lighter and more comfortable, the burden these masks will have on the landfills and oceans is immense; millions of masks will be thrown away and they can’t really be recycled because they have all been used. One way around this is to mainly buy reusable masks.
You can find reusable masks at places like Target and Kohl’s, but these masks are made in some oversea factory that pays its workers poorly and takes a huge toll on the environment which contributes to the increasing problem of fast fashion. It is very tricky to avoid this problem completely because most American stores participate in cheap labor overseas, but if you can it is best to support local businesses on sites like Depop and Etsy.
You can even make your own masks out of whatever cute, scrap fabric you can find. “My grandma makes reusable masks that are also reversible, so you have two options in one,” explains junior Eva Strazek.
(I myself made some and found the hardest part was the time commitment but the actual sewing was pretty simple.)
So even amidst a pandemic, we can remain stylish and take care of this beautiful earth the best we can.