Yellow, Gootipa, Broqué, Mad Koffee – local brands are bringing out cloth masks in different colours and designs
Mask has been a topic of discussion around the world since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
From a mere protective gear, it has now become a part of our "new normal" lifestyle.
We are putting it on like regular clothing items, but with more seriousness.
Fashion houses are also showing their interest and exploring this area.
In Bangladesh, a few prominent brands have come up with masks in different designs, materials and shapes.
For many people, it has been boring to wear plain surgical masks or N95 masks everywhere.
Due to overwhelming demand, there is also a scarcity of these particular types of masks.
Fashion house owners are trying to tap into this scarcity with an exphasis on style and fashion.
Founder and CEO of Mad Koffee, Amin Hannan Chowdhury said, "Though we are adapting to this new life, normal activities have not paused – social gatherings, marriages, parties are happening on a small scale and everyone is looking for a change. Now, we are getting orders for our masks in bulk for family events too."
A variety of designs, colours and shapes means that there is a suitable, fashionable mask for everyone.
You can find masks with floral prints, different quotes and you also can print your own pictures on them.
Now, it is possible to wear customised mask, if customers want to. "We want our customers to feel special, so we are offering customised designs," said Amin.
Nonetheless, masks are a safety gear so its effectiveness needs to be ensured.
Most cloth masks are made with T-shirt fabric, different types of cotton, and polyester. These are made in two or three layers to filter droplets and germs.
According to designers, these fabrics do not cause breathing issues for users. They are reusable, washable and most importantly, comfortable to use.
While producing masks, few clothing brands are following the guideline of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and taking notes from local experts.
"We are mass producing our masks from an environmental and social standpoint. Our products are made from recycled fabrics. It took us a few weeks to research under CDC's guideline and then we could finally design a mask. Its two layers can filter the smallest particles and almost give protection like N95 masks," shared Mahenaz Chowdhury, owner and designer of Broqué, about the quality of their masks.
Popular clothing brand Yellow has launched floral embroidered cotton masks, along with printed and plain coloured masks with fabric straps.
But they have clearly mentioned that these are not intended for medical use.
It has been a challenge for many parents to make their children wear masks.
Different brands are taking on this challenge and launching cartoon printed masks to attract children.
Masks are available with their favourite characters and colours.
The demand for fancy masks appears high among the masses. The price range is however different for fashion houses.
The price of the masks starts from Tk50 and goes up to Tk500, depending on the quality of fabrics and the number of layers.
Price of branded masks
Gootipa is selling their cotton masks within Tk50 to Tk60.
Mad Koffee is selling every mask at Tk150.
Yellow is selling their masks from Tk30 and their highest price is Tk345.
Broqué is selling high-end masks which cost Tk350-Tk500.
Social service with masks
Koinya clothing shop is donating their cotton masks to people who are in need whereas Broqué is donating one mask to marginalised people against each of their sales.