When contemplating the future of festival fashion or rave attire, one may visualise neon hazmat suits, holographic visors and fluorescent gloves for the ultimate rave cave outfit or rather a portable sauna suit. Yes, it seems like this is the direction we’re headed for public event dress codes to avoid cross-contamination as the pandemic winds down, if ever.
You may be thinking, why all the effort? Why don’t we stay home and stick to virtual solo raves in the confines of our home? Well, firstly that’s absolute crap and we’ve had it. If gearing up for a sterile dystopian ‘new normal’ world is the safest way to have our dose of club music, then so be it.
Shifting over to the fashion world, brands have faced frightening uncertainty as shops face temporary and permanent closure due to lack of footfall and exorbitant rent. Inevitably, sales have thrived via online shopping. Still, many consumers have evidently been spending less during the economic downturn simply because fashionable and luxury items have plummeted to the lowest of priorities during the pandemic. As fashion brands re-position their business strategies and re-market product needs, some clothing brands in Asia have managed to take the opportunity to veer into facemask designs as an essential consumer need.
Hence, we present fashion brands in Asia who have taken the liberty (while in quarantine) to muster creative reusable face mask designs as well as biodegradable options for eco-warriors too.
Origin Of Hearts
Bali based designers Origins of Heart, also known as OOH, are conscious of their surrounding environment and minimising negative impact when selecting materials for face masks. Their concern rose from being separated from family and loved ones around the world while tucked in the safety of the island of the gods. They noticed an inundation of disposable face masks circulating globally and while this ensured safety measures were in place, it also meant more harm to the environment. By blending their Island Life concept with an essential health accessory, they set about designing an array of vibrant face masks with breathability and distinction to satisfy those with the pickiest of sartorial tastes. OOH face masks are available in packs of three or five here.
Described as Taiwan’s pop culture provocateur brand from the future, Damage’s face masks are already highly fitting within the brand’s existing image. Damage’s face mask designs have Louis Vuitton and toxic symbolism inspired prints with water-resistant ripstop nylon material. The panel inserts also offer a soft cotton back panel for actual medical masks easily insert for double protection and peace of mind. Customers can also choose from a selection of black and white material here. More than just a shop, AMPM Damage is a community of fashionable ravers community together through street-inspired threads. Shop here.
Lisa Von Tang
When COVID-19 first hit Singapore, designer LISA VON TANG wanted to help fight the pandemic by producing reusable face masks during times of social distancing. Though not just any run-of-the-mill masks. They envisioned environmentally friendly masks that people would genuinely feel comfortable wearing while making a fashion statement. The re-washable and breathable silk face masks are made of a silk exterior and 100% Egyptian cotton on the interior and is available with a selection of gorgeous jewel tones. For safety, the brand has structured the health accessory as an N95 mask with padded nose bridges to keep masks in place. For every Silk Face Mask purchased, the brand donates five surgical masks to contribute.sg. Shop here.
Still House Haven
Still House Haven is a Hong Kong-based brand with a recently released range of reusable nylon face masks. Their ethos is an understated unique blend of function and comfort reflected in their meticulously sourced fabric. The antibacterial activity mask is made of a 100% water repellent nylon shield and a 3M Scotchgard protector lining while treatment used within the interior destroys mould and bacteria. Adjustable straps make it a one size fits all feature with an integrated metal nose piece for a snug fit. Described as a minimal yet fluid design for urban dwellers, their quality face masks fit well with an urban lifestyle while keeping safe within a dense city.
A Vietnamese Canadian footwear company (ShoeX) has produced a biodegradable and antimicrobial range of coffee bean face masks called AirX, as a solution to lessen ever-increasing plastic waste in landfills and oceans from disposable face masks. The 99.99% dual antibacterial reusable material is actually derived from Vietnamese coffee yarn and layered with biodegradable filters using coffee and silver nanotechnology approved by the AATCC 100 certification.
Beijing based designer Zhi Jun Wang has created Maskology, a range of trendy and creative masks designed from various materials including shoes. Sneakerheads will be delighted to hear that their full look can now be decked out in two styles of kicks from head to toe in one go. The brand has gone through great lengths to adapt to a range of materials from fly knit shoes to signature IKEA bags fitted with 3M filters. At the rate they’re going, we wouldn’t be surprised if these masks become the new fanny packs for faces with zipped up pockets. The catch? It’s a USD $5,000 price tag per bespoke mask. Shop here.
Sutajio (meaning Studio) is inspired by Japanese prints like the signature Katsushika Hokusai’s waves. These homemade reusable face masks are handcrafted and made to order per piece. Made from two layers of Japanese premium cotton and a Tencel fabric interior layer, additional filters or surgical masks can also be inserted as you wish with adjustable straps on the side for comfort. Waterproof reusable face masks are also available for rainy days. Shop here.
From protests in late 2019 to the growing pandemic, Hong Kong can’t seem to catch a break. As soon as the entertainment and nightlife industry was brought to a halt, music industry professional Nick Willsher felt compelled to set up Mask Tailor. The initiative provides reusable face masks for artists and DJs who are suddenly out of work due to cancelled shows. Each face mask has an inner cotton lining with adjustable tie loops, metal wire nose support and is made from 90% cotton with a selection of simple patterns to choose from. Local Hong Kong artists can apply for their complimentary face mask here.
Oliveankara is a fashion label based in Singapore that has branched out into a reusable face mask range offering a full spectrum of 41 designs, each with a double-layer construction to insert surgical masks. For every mask sold, 10% of proceeds go towards helping the secluded migrant worker community who are involved in the highest number cases of COVID-19 in Singapore. Known for their vibrant clothing range made from African sourced fabrics with Italian inspired design, Oliveankara prints are often worn by festival-goers at eco-conscious festivals like Wonderfruit in Thailand. We’ll most likely be seeing plenty of their face masks on The Fields in December. Shop here.
As medical professionals continue to emphasize that no effective cure has been developed against COVID-19 as of yet, the future of face masks is a clear staple accessory for safety measures and general attire. We’ve also gathered that quarantine has birthed a new age of creatives and essential designs from home. Now it seems as simple as whipping out old fabric from your drawers and sewing your own bespoke cloth face masks because why not.
With clubs and music festivals pushing through with postponed re-opening dates, it looks like our future style sense will definitely level up to an array of face mask aesthetics. And, there’s no harm in doing our part for the environment while we’re at it. Stay safe folks. Mask on.