Black-Owned Business Spotlight: Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

Black-Owned Business Spotlight: Felicia Jackson’s CPR Wrap

The best ideas for inventions are often born out of times of desperation and intense need. For mother and medical professional Felicia Jackson, that need came when her young son had a choking incident. Although Jackson was CPR-certified and had 20 years of experience in the medical field, her mind went blank with panic and she couldn’t help her son at that moment. Her husband was able to step in and save their son, but Jackson couldn’t stop thinking about the panic that sets in when you see someone choking and how that can prevent anyone, even medical professionals, from performing CPR.

That’s how Jackson literally dreamed up CPR Wrap. After the incident, she had a dream in which she saw someone using the product in an emergency situation. From the moment she woke up, she knew she had to bring that live-saving product into the world.

Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

CPR wrap is a simple product that makes performing CPR less intimidating and more accessible to everyone. A tool that allows anyone to effectively perform CPR at a moment’s notice, CPR Wrap is a translucent overlay that guides you through the four steps to perform CPR that the American Heart Association recommends. In addition to the simple, step-by-step instructions, it includes a one-way mouth valve and a visual hand placement map to guide chest compressions. If someone’s airway is obstructed, all you have to do is get them flat on their back, lay CPR wrap over them so that the mouthpiece aligns with their mouth and the lower half of the map covers their chest, and follow the instructions on the guide.

Felicia Jackson's CPR Wrap

As the need for CPR can arise anywhere at any time, CPR Wrap is packaged for convenience. It comes in a palm-sized package, allowing you to easily store it almost anywhere in your home or workplace. As 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the U.S. every year, the ability to keep CPR Wrap in your glove compartment or purse is a great perk of the product. It also comes in different sizes for adults, children, and infants, allowing you to administer CPR to whoever may need it.

This versatility is important, as CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. When someone starts choking or having trouble breathing, you likely won’t have time to get them to one of the 6,200 hospitals in the U.S. or even have time to wait for an ambulance to get to you. You can, however, quickly open up CPR Wrap, lay it on the person in trouble, and follow the easy instructions to give them CPR.

CPR Wrap by Felicia Jackson CPR Wrap by Felicia Jackson

Although Jackson had no formal business experience and an aversion to marketing when she first thought of this life-saving product, she knew that she had to conquer the tough road ahead and get her idea on the market. Jackson started with business programs in her town of Chattanooga, TN, including an immersive accelerator program run by CO.LAB, a local startup incubator.

In that program, Jackson quickly learned the ropes of pitching a business. She found that she was a natural at marketing, a part of running a business that includes tasks big and small, such as branding a product and ensuring that branding is consistently presented across all platforms, which can increase revenue by up to 23%. The hard work paid off and Jackson was able to sell 3,000 units of CPR Wrap before she even had a tangible product.

Today, Jackson works on CPR Wrap full time and business is booming. The company has even gone international, with audiences in South Africa, Dubai, and Germany showing interest in having CPR Wrap on hand.

“Internationally, when it comes to safety and protocol, they prepare—they’re not reactive. For many of us here in America, it’s only when something happens to us that we think we need something like CPR Wrap,” said Jackson.

Thankfully, when a near-tragedy did happen to Jackson’s son he made it out alive and Jackson did think of something like CPR Wrap. Now, families around the world can take a preventative step by bringing CPR Wrap wherever they go and always being ready to face an emergency situation with ease and confidence.

Negris Lebrum "Black is" Tees Declares Black is Beautiful in 12 Languages

Negris Lebrum “Black is” Tees Declares Black is Beautiful in 12 Languages

.Although it may not seem that way to some, Black skin is indeed beautiful. It must be celebrated, honored, and revered every day. What better than a Black fashion label to help do just that! We’re happy to highlight Negris Lebrum, a Houston based fashion brand born from an inspirational love story that began during the 1940s, between a young beautiful French Creole woman and a handsome Black man whose love was forbidden by societal standards. The inspired collection is named for this muse, Ms. Negris Lebrum.

What started out as a small collection of 12 screen-printed t-shirts 11 yrs ago, has grown into a high-end fashion house; no surprise since Fashion Designer Travis Hamilton was inspired by this chic French woman. But today we’re highlighting Mr. Hamilton’s revisit of one of his very first t-shirts paying homage to Ms. Negris Lebrum, the “LE NOIR EST JOLI” tee. The French phrase translates to “Black is beautiful”, very apt in light of the current Black plight and struggle.

Negris Lebrum "Black is" Tees Declares Black is Beautiful in 12 Languages

While she was light enough to pass, Negris Lebrum chose to live her life as a proud Black woman. She fell in love with and married a darker-skinned man; in doing so, she was ostracized and forced out of her community for marrying him instead of passing for white. Hence the creation of the “LE NOIR EST JOLI” tee. In light of the recent movements, Mr. Hamilton went back in his archive and updated this “vintage” t-shirt with 12 languages instead of the original 5.  His “LE NOIR EST JOLI” message is now beautifully translated into English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, Ibo, German, and Japanese; making it a global tee.

“I originally made these t-shirts as a tribute to this intriguing woman’s incredible story. Today, in the environment in which we are currently living, the messages of pride in one’s self from years ago communicate a loud message of the importance of inclusion,” says Travis Hamilton. “This message of inclusion & pride in one’s self & seeing others through nonexclusionary eyes is every bit as powerful today as it was back in ‘the day’.”

We see the world come together in support of Black lives. We see multiple countries condemn police brutality towards Black people. This shows the unified message on the Negris Lebrum “Black is Beautiful” tee is one that the world would proudly wear.

The newly released 12 language version of the t-shirt is available for $55.00 on the www.negrislebrum.com in Women’s and Men’s sizes. The super-soft, 100% combed cotton tees are available in black or charcoal gray.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection

As the saying goes, classics never go out of style; so you can never go wrong with the classic looks from the Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection which debuted during Paris Fashion Week. The ready-to-wear shows have been a wonderful escape from the pandemic turmoil. Staying at home has finally given us the chance to revisit the shows we missed, like Slovak brand, Nehera. Every piece from this collection will be a much-welcomed addition in complimenting your wardrobe.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection

When you hear someone say ready-to-wear, Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection is what they mean. Ever look will easily walk right off the runway and into the typical life of any woman. The artisanal fashion label, known for their elegant and timeless designs, their collection featured dresses, coats, knitwear, blouses and bottoms that will live long in wardrobe rotation.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection PARIS FASHION WEEK: Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection

The main focus of the Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection is comfort, classic silhouettes that you’ll own forever, and a color palette that will seamlessly take you from season to season. We love the never-ending parade of beiges, blacks, blues, greys, whites, browns, as well as the pops of bold colors thrown in.

Paris Fashion Week Paris Fashion Week

These complementary colors are found in natural fibers, such as silks, cotton, wools, leathers; and in synthetics like plastic, viscose, nylon, and jersey. Along with local craftsmen, every fiber is carefully reviewed to match the most rigorous sustainability benchmark. The Nehera culture champions spontaneity, vitality, and sustainability, while the creations feel grounded and unassuming.

We were entranced by the first look, an oversized wool coat, we’d love to greet the Fall New York weather in worn over a beige and brown tartan wool jumpsuit. Our love continued on with several other pieces, including a patchwork shearling coat worn over an ivory jacket and dress; an oversized soft grey wool coat; chunky knitwear, and cool prints.

A completely wearable collection from start to finish. Since we’ve declared our love of the Nehera FW 2020 RTW Collection, we’d love to hear what you think. Any favorite looks or pieces from this wonderful collection? We’d love to see your comments.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection

Thanks to the global pandemic, we’ve had some difficulty following a calendar. Something I’m sure you all are experiencing. For instance, it seems we’ve missed the Paris FW 2020 RTW collections. Thankfully we can fix this by highlighting some of Paris Fashion Week’s collections, like the Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection. You may remember we highlighted her SS2020 RTW Collection last September. For this season, she is trying some new things, let’s get acquainted.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection

The inspiration behind the Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection is not at all what you’d expect but maybe looking at the photos will give you a hint. Alianna’s collection was inspired by Tetris, a game every 80’s kid knows very well. It is one of the most iconic and best-selling games ever! Like most adults, Alianna played Tetris as a child and was inspired by the graphics of the addictive puzzle game. You may notice some of her looks feature the “Tetriminos” symbol and some of her prints are inspired by the blocks; checks and stripes also play a big part in this collection.

PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection PARIS FASHION WEEK: Alianna Liu FW 2020 Collection

Along with channeling her childhood, Alianna also changed from her usual classic aesthetic and opted for a more modern looking terms of volume. A quick comparison to her last collection and you’ll notice the change. Her collection of more voluminous jackets, capes, dresses, pants, and skirts graced the runway in a mix of cotton, leather, wool, and a few synthetic fabrics. Her color palette included classic fall colors such as black, beige, brown, bronze, green, and blue, as well as some bolder hues, such as gold, silver, purple, red, and pink.

Paris Fashion Week Paris Fashion Week

We’d loved to see what Alianna Liu’s following up to this collection will be. With our current situation, we look forward to whatever bit of joy inspires her SS 2021 RTW collection. Now you fellow Tetris fans, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this collection. Feel free to leave your comments below.

Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Quarantine, but make it fashion.

Although that might have been a phrase uttered in ironic social media posts, the reality is that the fashion industry has experienced major disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, fashion is ever-evolving — and often as a result of social and global change — so it makes sense that some brands are able to roll with the punches and address emerging consumer demands. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the fashion industry has been impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Pandemic Panache: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry

Fashion Industry Outlook

Around 50% of small businesses survive for five years or more — and independent designers and even small-but-well-known brands are having a tough time due to COVID-19. While brands owned by luxury conglomerates are weathering the storm just fine (and some have even seen revenue increases since the onset of the pandemic), even high-end independent brands like Tiffany and Co., Mulberry, and Salvatore Ferragamo have endured massive layoffs and multi-million dollar losses. Not surprisingly, most consumers aren’t in a position to drop a ton of cash on a brand name bag or an expensive necklace right now.

It’s also important to note that the global supply chain for brands has seen major upsets, especially when it comes to fast fashion. Brands aren’t able to deliver low-cost products quickly, as their suppliers have often been cut off due to the virus. As a result, many stores (like Zara) have shut location doors permanently and others (like H and M) have offered massive mid-season sales to make up for the loss in revenue. Even Anna Wintour of Vogue has hinted that the pandemic could spell the end of the road for fast fashion.

Fashionable Face Masks

Still, creativity continues to thrive — and necessity is the mother of invention, as is evidenced by the many designers who have switched gears from couture dresses to face coverings. From Eva Franco and Alice + Olivia to independent Etsy shops, brands have been making — and selling out — face masks for months. Even major corporations like Disney and sports organizations have gotten into the game. Now that the CDC agrees that mask-wearing is essential for all persons over the age of two, consumers are eager to get their hands on reusable fabric masks that can protect them in public spaces. Despite the fact that 93% of kids have seen a doctor within the last year, both children and adults want to do what they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. That means there’s a major market for face coverings. And while no one is making a substantial income from these masks (as the unwritten rule is to cover only the cost of materials and minimal labor), it’s a way for brands to stay in the public eye, keep employees busy, and provide a much-needed product to the masses.

Work-From-Home Style

In-person fashion shows, like so many events, have gone digital. The combination of travel restrictions and social distancing requirements makes strutting down the catwalk or sitting in the front row next to impossible. And while some people are looking for a bit of escapism, many others just want to be comfortable.

Around 60% of millennials say that improved technology will make the need for face-to-face conversations obsolete — and we’ve seen that put to the test throughout the pandemic. Although it may have been surprising to some, the fact is that business meetings and social get-togethers can take place to great effect via video chat.

As a result, much of the workforce is being productive from their living rooms. While they might be inclined to wear a nice shirt or blouse on top, many of these employees are wearing sweatpants or loungewear on the bottom. And those who have been laid off and have nowhere to go are also opting for ultimate comfort. Sales of pajamas increased by 143% in April, while purchases of pants, bras, and jackets dropped by percentage points in the double digits. And although Crocs saw some major sales thanks to the pandemic and many athletic footwear companies have seen some successes, overall shoe sales were down in Q1 of 2020.

That said, these trends might reverse as states start to reopen. When China finally reopened, one Hermes store had its biggest sales day in history because consumers were so eager to get back to other shopping habits. Still, some are saying that transitioning from comfy clothes to restrictive workwear might not be easy, particularly because weight gain has proven common during the quarantine. Online secondhand clothing sales, especially those on platforms like Poshmark and Mercari, have been fruitful throughout the pandemic — but once retailers and thrift stores start to reopen, it’s possible that those sales might start to dip.

But what might happen over the next couple of months is still a bit of an unknown, especially as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise in areas that have already reopened. We might well have to brace for a second wave, which could cause us to revert to our pandemic habits — but brands might be better prepared for that possibility now that they can more accurately predict consumer behavior.

Black-Operated Brands You Can Support Today

Put Your Money Where the Movement Is: Black-Operated Brands You Can Support Today

In response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, people across the United States have started speaking out against police brutality in Black communities. The past few weeks have seen protests in every state in America and in at least 40 countries around the world, countless petitions to get justice for Black Americans who have been killed by the police, and crowdsourced lists of organizations to donate to. As the initial wave of protests subsides, many people have been wondering how they can continue to fight against racial disparities in this country.

Black-Operated Brands You Can Support Today

In addition to keeping this necessary conversation going even as the media cycle focuses less on the protests, a great way to help ensure that Black communities receive the reparations they deserve is to support Black-owned and Black-operated businesses. Whether you physically go to businesses in your community or you support businesses across the country by shopping online, you can fight inequality in the long-term by putting your money where your mouth is and giving Black businesses your hard-earned cash. There are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. and all it takes is a simple Google search to discover which of these are owned and run by Black entrepreneurs. To get you started, here is just a small list of some of our favorite Black-owned and Black-operated brands.

Castamira Swimwear

Castamira Swimwear - Black-Operated Brands You Can Support Today

Chantel Davis, a Jamaican-born model, founded this luxury swimwear brand in 2017 and hasn’t stopped her entrepreneurial efforts since. Davis wants Castamira to be a swimwear company for all women, regardless of their size, shape, or skin color. Before she founded the brand, Davis went to university and then signed with Wilhelmina Miami to work as a model for three years.

After seeing the same thin body type over and over again in the modeling industry, Davis was inspired to launch a swimwear brand that aimed to make all women feel comfortable, sexy, and confident in their own skin. Davis designs Castamira swimsuits so that they highlight the small of the back, support the bust, embrace curves, and elongate legs. Every inch of these swimsuits is catered to the female form so that any woman can have fun in the sun while feeling undeniably beautiful.

The Doux

The Doux Haircare

The Doux is a professional approach to curly hair that delivers real results without all of the hype. Maya Smith, a licensed cosmetologist, developed The Doux in a textured hair salon with extensive research and development and thousands of transitioned clients. Smith developed The Doux to treat any style of hair, whether it has natural curl definition or it’s been thermally straightened. With Smith’s innovative product, she’s squashed the battle between straight and curly and proved that any kind of natural is beautiful.

Black Girl Sunscreen

Shontay Lundy's Black Girl Sunscreen

Shontay Lundy created Black Girl Sunscreen in 2016 to help Black people protect their skin against harmful UV rays. Lundy formulated this sunscreen specifically for darker skin tones so that it doesn’t leave a white residue or cast after you apply it. Whether you love laying out on the beach or you’re among the 162 million people who make up the U.S. civilian labor force and spend your working hours out in the sun, you can use this sunscreen to protect your skin. It is also reef-friendly, as it is made with an all-natural formula free of harmful parabens and fragrances.

JustFab

Black-Operated Brands You Can Support Today

JustFab is a fashion-subscription e-commerce site that provides members with a personal shopping experience and is part of TechStyle Fashion Group’s portfolio of brands, which also includes Savage X Fenty, Fabletics, and ShoeDazzle. Daria Burke helps ensure JustFab’s success as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In this position, Burke oversees all marketing functions and pilots JustFab’s global brand awareness and positioning.

Prior to joining JustFab in 2019, Burke led various fashion and retail advertising partnerships at Facebook and Instagram; was a founding team member of Rent the Runway, and served as Head of Beauty Strategy, Innovation, and Experience at CVS. Although Burke is early in her career at JustFab, she is sure to give the fashion brand a boost with her extensive expertise. Bet you didn’t know, JustFab was a Black-operated brand.

Mielle Haircare

Mielle Haircare

With a focus on health from the inside out, Mielle products have shaken up the hair care market since the company’s 2014 launch. Monique Rodriguez is the company’s founder and CEO and used her nine years of experience as a registered nurse to create a line of natural beauty products for all hair types. At an affordable price, you won’t need to pawn precious stones to get the cash you need to purchase Mielle products. You can easily find these natural products at major stores like Walmart or purchase them online to support Rodriguez and her business directly.

Glam Body

Danika Berry's Glam Body

Danika Berry created Glam Body in 2017 with the goal of making skin look and feel better with natural ingredients. Glam Body’s coffee scrubs are vegan and cruelty-free, containing jojoba oil, coconut oil, and coffee. This combination of ingredients helps fight stretch marks, cellulite, hyperpigmentation, eczema, dull skin, and aging effects.

French Deal

French Deal Mens Fashion

Steeven Kodjia started in a competition-winning dance crew at the O’Tentick dance company, a Parisian-based dance studio. While he performed at concerts and in music videos, he developed a strong interest in men’s fashion. After frequent trips to New York City to search for streetwear styles he couldn’t find elsewhere, he decided to start his own fashion label, French Deal.

French Deal is based on Parisian hip-hop looks and VOLUME 4, Steeven’s latest collection, aims to shine a positive light on Africa. With this collection, Steeven wants to challenge stereotypical beliefs to prove that Africa has an amazing fashion scene with a rich history and culture.

Glow by Daye

Glow by Daye Hair Tools

Glow by Daye is a brand that sells high-quality hair maintenance tools and products to help you meet your hair goals. Ranay Orton, a self-proclaimed lazy natural, wanted simple solutions to care for her hair and didn’t find them on the market. So, she created her own. Whether your hair goals are focused on length, moisture retention, or prolonging hairstyles, Orton’s products are designed to help you.

Rucker Roots

Rucker Roots Haircare

Sisters Ellen Rucker Sellers and Ione Rucker-Jamison launched Rucker Roots, a line of healthy products to help all hair types. Their products are derived from vegetable roots, such as ginger root, carrot root, and turnip root. You can shop the Rucker Roots collection for individual shampoos and conditioners or for multi-step systems to boost your hair’s health.

Whether you want to treat yourself to a piece of luxury fashion or you’re looking for affordable products to use in your daily life, you can support Black businesses. Use these companies as a starting point and remember to share your favorite brands with your friends and family. By creating a network of financial support for Black-operated businesses and recognizing the achievements of Black entrepreneurs, we can help Black communities thrive.

Hanifa Pink Label Congo Collecton

Hanifa Debuts New Collection on Instagram Live With 3D Models

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine have forced many people and organizations to adapt to a world based on virtual communication in order to survive. Workers now doing their jobs from home have adjusted to using video chats for all meetings. Those who no longer have jobs have to rely on online forms and portals to receive unemployment and Temporary Disability benefits. Businesses have had to make their goods and services available online or else face bankruptcy. Out of these obstacles, however, many individuals and organizations have found ways to thrive.

Hanifa Pink Label Congo Collecton Hanifa Pink Label Congo Collecton

One fashion brand has made a virtual splash that could change the future of fashion, but the designer behind it had planned her unique launch before the coronavirus pandemic made it essential. Designer Anifa Mvuemba debuted the newest collection from her brand, Hanifa, with 3D digital models on Instagram Live on May 22. The runway show, which featured her Pink Label Congo collection, pulled in over 500 viewers and changed preconceived notions about how you could put on a fashion show.

Mvuemba first had the idea for a virtual runway show five years ago, but she had limited technical knowledge to pull off the ambitious plan. To learn more about 3D modeling, she turned to Google and YouTube. Using the same determination she had when learning how to sew from the same search engines, Mvuemba studied 3D design software while she designed the physical collection.

“I’m just the type of person that when I want to learn how to do something, I’m going to learn it even if that means I have to be up 24 hours for a week straight,” said Mvuemba.

She finished the collection’s looks in November 2019 and in January 2020 she decided that she would make her vision of a virtual fashion show come true. She started with testing out curvy 3D models on Hanifa’s Instagram, replacing the brand’s real-life models to preview the upcoming looks.

Soon after, the spread of the coronavirus created another obstacle for Mvuemba and her brand. As she admits in an interview with Teen Vogue, the designer was initially hesitant to move forward with her virtual runway show.

“The news came out about how serious things were and I started to feel a bit anxious about everything going on. I started feeling like maybe it would be insensitive to create and share a new collection online while people were facing very difficult realities,” Mvuemba told Teen Vogue.

However, Mvuemba began to see the unique opportunity she had to launch a runway show that could transform the fashion world. Traditional runway shows tend to happen at major events like New York Fashion Week, making them inaccessible to much of the world. Not only are invitations to these events exclusive, but many people cannot afford or are not physically able to travel to the events to even have a chance at seeing the shows. This can exclude people in lower economic classes, people with disabilities, and people who are older — the global population of which is expected to reach 22% by 2050 — from the events where major fashion moments happen. By debuting a runway show on Instagram rather than in an inaccessible NYC venue, Hanifa opened up its show to anyone of any age and ability in the world.

Making the show accessible to anyone who wanted to watch it was also important because of the show’s content. The Pink Label Congo live stream started with a mini-documentary on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Viewers saw clips of news articles on the illegal child labor and abuse of power that occurs in the Congo in the name of mining Coltan, which is used to produce cell phones. Mvuemba wanted to contrast this abusive part of the Congo’s history with its beautiful scenery and citizens, represented by the stunning collection.

The runway portion of the live stream showed curvy, body-less models strutting down a virtual runway. Although there were no bodies making the clothes move, the Congolese-inspired pieces draped on the 3D models, showing every curve and bend. The runway was set to upbeat electronic music that accentuated the show’s celebration of culture and joy. Even viewers who were among the 15% of adults who have a form of hearing impairment, however, still saw that joy through the beautiful runway pieces. From pieces like the Kinshasa dress, a red, blue, and yellow pleated mini-dress that celebrated the colors of the Congolese flag, to the show’s finale look, the Mai Maxi that features the Congo river, the runway was a proud display of Congolese culture.

After the show finished on Instagram, the Internet sang the brand’s praises. Hanifa became a trending topic on Twitter, the first time the brand has ever done so, and the show became the subject of headlines across media outlets. Fans across platforms marveled at Mvuemba’s creativity and innovation and went wild with pride from seeing a black woman taking this monumental step in fashion history.

Whether you want to celebrate black women — yet again — changing the world for the better or you’re inspired by the gorgeous clothing, you can shop the full Hanifa Pink Label Congo Collection on its website. If you’d like to help people directly in the Congo, check out the collection’s Colette T-shirt. Hanifa is donating 20% of sales of the shirt to support Congolese families who have been affected by the illegal Colton mining. And of course, keep an eye on what else is to come from Hanifa. We certainly will be and we can’t wait to see what world Mvuemba will invite us into next.

COVID-19 face masks

The Must-Have Accessory: Fashion Brands Start Selling COVID-19 Face Masks

In the fashion world, a must-have accessory is something that’s on-trend. It’s a piece that’s so popular that not having it signals you’re out of touch with the latest developments in fashion. In a world currently coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, a must-have accessory is something that protects your health and the health of everyone around you. Without it, you risk contracting the coronavirus, spreading it to anyone you interact with, and unraveling the progress communities have made so far in flattening the curve.

The COVID-19 face masks have quickly found itself at the intersection of these two meanings of “must-have accessory.” At the beginning of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending that every individual wear a cloth face-covering whenever they are in public settings where it is hard to maintain social distancing measures, such as at the grocery store or pharmacy. The CDC emphasizes that the cloth face coverings can be made out of household items and that surgical masks and N-95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

Despite this recommendation, government officials have done little to help the general public obtain the appropriate COVID-19 face masks. People who are handy with a needle and thread can make them out of bedsheets or scarves, but what about the large portion of the public who don’t have the time or skills to create homemade COVID-19 face masks?

COVID-19 face masks

That’s where fashion brands are stepping in. As the demand for face masks skyrockets, brands have started designing their own versions of the COVID-19 face masks and selling them to consumers. Not only do consumers need masks to leave their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but masks from designers are much more visually interesting than standard medical masks. Masks from fashion companies have quickly become a new form of self-expression, helping consumers maintain a sense of individuality while they wear something that covers half of their faces. Some of our favorite fashionable COVID-19 face masks include Dalia MacPhee, Christopher Palu, Ivon Los Angeles, Grace Eleyae, and Christy Dawn  (photos included in this feature).

COVID-19 face masks

Selling aesthetically-pleasing face masks is also beneficial for the revenue of these brands. In 2018, consumers spent about $517 billion online working with U.S. merchants. A good portion of those billions has dried up as the coronavirus continues to change the financial wellbeing of Americans, causing consumers to be much more conscious about how they spend their money. Selling practical, yet fashionable, face masks are the perfect opportunity for clothing companies to tap into the demands of the public and keep their businesses afloat at the same time.

COVID-19 face masks

As brands have been rolling out masks, they’ve been incorporating more practical features as well as appealing designs. One issue some people had anticipated with making and selling masks in this crisis was how they would get the necessary materials. About 95% of the world’s cargo moves by ship, but the global pandemic has all but stopped companies’ normal supply chains. Luckily, brands have found ways to make masks without having to further tax the world’s limited supply of resources. Many have been recycling fabrics from their past collections or using scraps of denim and other fabrics that would otherwise have been thrown away. Brands are also taking care to make masks with washable fabric so that consumers can sanitize their masks and re-wear them.

COVID-19 face masks

Many fashion brands are running special deals that also help out the country’s hard-working healthcare workers. Offering 1+1 or 5+5 match packages has become commonplace on websites of fashion brands. When you buy a 5+5 pack at Christy Dawn, for example, you will receive five sustainable, reusable masks and the other five masks will be sent to medical workers. Other brands are making donations on their own to help those in need. For instance, J.Crew and Madewell are each selling non-medical face masks in packs of three for consumers but have also donated a total of 75,000 single-use masks to the healthcare system. Rose Brand is donating 20% of the sale of their 3-pk of Make A Difference and Keep Your Distance COVID-19 face masks to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Coronavirus Sustainable Face Mask

If you’ve been procrastinating making a mask of your own, check to see if any of your favorite fashion brands are selling non-surgical face masks. You may even be able to find out in an easy zero-click search, a type of search that makes up over 62% of mobile searches and will answer your query right on the results page without you having to click on any links. Once you have your answer, you can start browsing the brand’s mask options and find one that speaks to your style and budget. Remember to keep an eye out for deals that send masks to those in need so that you can do your part to help the community.

Even as coronavirus hospitalizations start to slow down in the United States, Keep Your Distance that the public will need to keep up social distancing measures for the foreseeable future. Some even predict these measures extending into the next year and beyond, with this health crisis permanently changing how people interact with the world. This means that although some parts of society may start returning to normal, it’s likely that wearing face masks in public will be the new normal. Investing in sustainable, reusable face masks now will help keep you healthy, keep small fashion brands in the business, and keep healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 protected against the virus.