Masks, yes! But not just any…

Masks, yes! But not just any…

Let's rethink our habits around masks and avoid contributing to the tons of garbage that the pandemic is generating.

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Sustainable is the new black

Ines Ormazabal for Libertad Avenue  |  Jan 27, 2021

The second wave of Covid-19 is all-in, just as much as our obligation to continue protecting ourselves, especially with the new, more contagious variants of the virus that keep coming up in different parts of the globe. It is clear that we will still have to wear masks for quite a while.

The problem is that the planet, which was already super contaminated before the pandemic, is filling up with Covid-19 waste. In Spain alone, roughly 700 million masks have been used since the start of the health crisis almost a year ago, and less than 10% of them are reused. Globally, these total about 129 billion per month, and many end up piling up on streets, rivers and seas. Surely you have seen them on the streets and sidewalks more than once. And according to Bloomberg, plastic consumption has increased significantly during the pandemic.

So, in this second wave, let’s not forget that alternatives exist. A face mask made of fabric–as opposed to the disposable ones–is always a better choice since they can be washed and reused. Also, most big brands have launched their own lines, but if we really want to support sustainability, using cloth is not enough; it is much better to uphold ventures that contribute to creating jobs in their communities, than to buy face coverings made in series. From Zurich, Julian Zigerli's creations (Instagram: @julianzigerliofficial), for example, are super colorful, unisex, eye-catching and sustainable, and you can order them online. And in Austria, the Mask Republic project is everything you could hope for in terms of sustainability and quality: two companies teamed up to develop masks with higher filtration, and created kits to be assembled later by local tailors who don´t have jobs at the moment. Coverings are sold as well as distributed to NGOs, to reach those who need them most.

Finally, you probably know already that you can make them yourself, since tutorials abound on the web; you just have to make sure that they follow the rules of the World Health Organization (WHO) so that they effectively protect you. And another fact to take in consideration: according to the New York Times, in addition to all the distancing rules in place, a good way to prevent contagion in this new wave is to use one mask over another to increase several layers of protection. And you can definitely do that, with true style.

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