Coronavirus face masks made by the fashion industry

How the Fashion Industry Can Help Make Masks for the COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis

In Fashion & Culture by Melissa Shea

The fashion industry has volunteered in droves to help find ways to provide PPE and face masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Below we’ve listed Fashion Mingle members who are providing services for personal face masks, healthcare industry PPE, and branded face masks for companies who need to buy in bulk. 

From Christian Siriano tweeting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to Neiman Marcus partnering with JoAnn Fabrics to produce PPE for healthcare workers, and Ralph Lauren committing $10 million dollars to a worldwide fund, the fashion industry is stepping up when our own government appears to be failing. 

Coronavirus Face Masks for Personal Use


Sustainable fashion designer, Runa Ray has created masks that require no sewing. Most of us do not know how to sew or stitch. This tutorial will help you make a mask which can be worn over a surgical mask or on its own with a filter. It will provide you with some protection and use what you have a home, which is a T shirt. Most T shirts are worn a couple of times and then discarded.

Research says that T shirts provide up to 73% protection and this video will help you utilize the entire T shirt and get out a couple of masks for the family.

How you can help:

  • Check out our page on how to create Runa’s masks.
  • Watch Runa’s tutorial to make your own DIY masks.
  • Use an old T-shirt to help the environment and recycle your old clothing. 
  • Pass along this tutorial to allow others to make their own masks.  


Aysha Robinson is a fashion designer from South Carolina who is producing elegantly designed face masks for personal use, with each purchase funding more masks that are donated to medical & non-medical workers in need. Aysha designs contemporary womenswear and has also pledged to donate 3 masks to healthcare workers with every purchase from her collection.

How you can help:

  • Visit the Aysha louise website.
  • Purchase a set of 3 face masks to help fund more donations
  • Buy an item from Aysha’s collection to donate 3 masks.


Glenroy March is a Jamaican-born, New York based fashion designer who is producing face masks and head coverings from 100% cotton African fabric. The one-size, unisex masks feature bold African inspired prints that are soft, breathable,  and easy to wash and dry. Glenroy is partnering with Av Norden to design, produce, and distribute essential protective gear for frontline workers in Brooklyn and surrounding areas.

How you can help:

Coronavirus Branded Face Masks for Bulk & Wholesale Orders

Sustainability expert Anthony Lilore has devoted his 30+ year fashion career to help the fashion industry clean up supply chains and design mindful solutions to re-source consumption. He and partner Eliane Said, have pivoted their factory for THROW, a company that up-cycles trade show banners into stylish bags, into a manufacturer for companies who need to buy bulk or wholesale orders of branded face masks… certainly a new reality for many companies who need to protect employees and customers.
They offer 3 types of masks which you can brand with your own logo or design:
The T-1 – Single Layer Mask is computer cut and digitally dye sublimation printed. This print process means your imagination is the only limitation. The fabric is a moisture wicking performance grade double knit polyester spandex blend with four way stretch to conform to the contours of each individual face.
The T-2 – Double Layer Mask is made from two plies of ultra-soft peach skin crêpe poly spandex knit that stretches to fit the contours of the face. The layers are bound together with a swimwear quality binding that eliminates the need for elastic ear loops.
Both T– Masks are a high-quality breathable barrier and a perfect vehicle for your corporate branding, team logo or self-expressive graphic designs. They are meant to be worn, washed and dried multiple times, and are a fantastically versatile and graphically pleasing social distancing barrier.

Coronavirus Face Masks for First Responders

Launched out of the New York Fair Trade Coalition’s WhatsApp Group, member Nancy Rhodes founded the NYC Facemask Initiative to connect NYC seamstresses, volunteers, and manufacturing resources to fulfill needs of NYC hospitals and healthcare providers. 

Nancy Rhodes, founder of NYC Facemask Initiative said “We have 70+ sewing technicians and growing! We have materials to send out! We have delivery systems in place! We have the capacity to make at least 5000 masks per week and much more with your donation!”.

While New York City has a stay at home order, the NYC Facemask Initiative is providing an essential service by organizing donations of fabric and elastic and arranging delivery to professional sewing technicians. Then volunteer drivers pick up the finished facemasks and take them to NYC healthcare organizations who have requested them. 

How you can help:
Volunteer to sew, donate supplies, or be a delivery driver.
Join the WhatsApp Group to keep up with all the latest requests and information.
Donate to help fund large orders produced by their network of manufacturers. 

Human B have designed masks made out of SITAtech Nano fabrics. The fabric is made out of special Nanofibers that can protect from particles like viruses and bacteria. Since fabric masks are not suitable for those treating patients with COVID-19 symptoms, this is a great alternative to free up the use of CDC-compliant medical masks that are needed. They need help with donations in order to support the factories and employees that are making the masks. All of the masks are going to U.S. hospitals that are in need of them.

How you can help:
Go to

  • Donate the amount you want!
  • With a goal of $5,000, donations of any size make a big difference.

CEO of Factory45, Shannon Lohr, sprang into action by turning her sustainable fashion network of U.S. based factories and suppliers into a supply chain for large scale production of surgical masks. The platform matches fashion industry manufacturers who can produce at least 10,000 masks per month for non COVID-19 use for healthcare professionals requesting surgical masks.

Factory45’s effort is designed to free up the desperately needed filtration masks for healthcare workers assigned to Coronavirus patients. “The past five days have been a whirlwind — to put it lightly. It started on Friday when I received three emails from people interested in sewing masks for medical workers. As the day went on, I kept hearing from our factory partners that they wanted to help, but they didn’t know where to send the masks.” said Lohr. 

JoAnn Fabrics is recommending that requests for masks be made through The Mask Project. Learn more about how JoAnn Fabrics is helping further down in this article.  

How you can help:
Go to

  • Volunteer your factory to sew masks
  • Request masks for your hospital
  • Donate to help fund large orders

Additional Resources for Face Masks Needed by First Responders and Essential Workers

Amanda Curtis, Founder of Nineteenth Amendment and N.A.BLD which helps fashion brands launch sustainable products, is using her platform to provide seamstresses with free tech packs complete with digital pattern, suggested materials, sourcing info, and more for those who want to make masks for their family or the healthcare industry at home. is helping by donating fabric, reducing the cost of each mask to $4 each. 

As the wife of a doctor, this crisis hit close to home “It’s time for fashion to answer the call to action. My husband is a doctor and on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and he was recently informed that he should be prepared to bring a bandana to work as supplies of N95 and surgical masks are diminishing. We can and we will do better than this!” says Curtis. 

How you can help:
Go to

  • Buy a mask for yourself and donate a batch of masks for as little as $33 here.
  • Request a mask order if you are a medical facility or caregiving organization.
  • Sign up to become a production partner. 

Thank you to luxury department store Neiman Marcus for partnering with JoAnn Stores to produce non-surgical, personal protective equipment including masks, gowns, and scrubs for front-line Cronavirus health care providers. 

But JoAnn Fabrics isn’t stopping there with their efforts to help in the COVID-19 crisis. With 850 stores in 49 states, they are serving as a collection point for DIY mask makers who want to help fill requests from their local hospitals. If you want to help make DIY masks, this could be the best option to directly help healthcare workers in your local community. 

Wade Miquelon, President & CEO of JoAnn Stores said “We are seeing hospital workers, organizations and individuals coming into our stores for supplies to make these essential items, and our customers are asking us how they can help”. 

To help fill requests from hospitals, JoAnn Fabrics has opened their stores to provide space and donate fabric and supplies to DIY makers who come into a store to help fill orders for masks. Please read on their website about how they are following social distancing guidelines before complaining that they are not following social distancing guidelines!

How you can help:
Go to:

  • Get directions to make your own DIY masks
  • Buy cotton fabric online – the recommended fabric for DIY masks.
  • Find a store near you where you can volunteer. 

The American Sewing Guild is matching DIY masks requests from healthcare professionals to volunteers who can sew masks on their website. They have a running list of healthcare organizations who have requested them, so you can quickly choose your state and find the name of a healthcare organization or company with the address for delivery. 

The project is using the mask pattern put out by Deaconess Health System, one of the first healthcare organizations raising the alarm about mask shortages and promoting a DIY solution. 

Once you have filled a mask request and shipped it to the organization, the company will report back to We Need Masks to have their request removed from the list. 

Janice Blasko of the American Sewing Guild says “The response has been overwhelming. The healthcare organizations listed are pleading for masks to help them through this crisis and I will share with you that many of the requests have brought me to tears. From large hospitals that are overwhelmed to small clinics, healthcare centers, nursing homes, senior centers and EMS facilities, they are all including notes asking that we please send them whatever we can as quickly as we can”. 

How you can help:
Go to

  • Get instructions for sewing masks
  • Add your healthcare organization to request masks

If you have access to a large number of professional masks, please donate them via Mask Match. They are matching requests from healthcare facilities that need N95, P95, R95 filtration masks and surgical masks of all kinds. Mask Match was started by Liz Klinger, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of Lioness and Chloe Alpert, CEO of Medinas Health.

“One of the first requests we got was someone talking about how they were being told to staple N95 masks together in order to keep using them,” Klinger says. “Another health care worker said his wife, who also works in health care, is pregnant, and both of them were worried” says Klinger. 

If you have any of the requested PPE donations, the Mask Match site provides a USPS Click-N-Ship link to schedule a pickup which Mask Match shares with the healthcare worker who has requested masks. Mask Match is also trying to help rural clinics who have zero supply and unable to find sources to order from due to the competition with larger hospitals, states, and countries desperate for PPE. 

How you can help:
Go to

  • Healthcare workers fill out the I Need Masks form.
  • To donate N95, P95, R95 filtration masks and surgical masks fill out the I Have Masks form. 

Mingle Mastermind Group

At Fashion Mingle, we realize how difficult this time is for the fashion industry and we want to help! Join us every Friday for our Mingle Mastermind Group live Zoom meeting where we discuss how the Coronavirus is affecting our business and ideas for how you can survive in this uncertain time. Register for the Mingle Mastermind Group webinar on our homepage.

About Melissa Shea

Melissa Shea is the co-founder of Fashion Mingle and has spent over 20 years in the creative industry fueled by a love of learning about the “next new thing”. Melissa has used her entrepreneurial passion and technology skills to develop an online platform for fashion professionals that will transform the future for local fashion communities.

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