The demand for non-medical face masks continues to grow, especially after this week’s announcement from Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory where they strongly recommended that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. A countless number of Toronto designers have stepped up to the plate to make masks for consumers, and now one of the city’s most renowned labels — Greta Constantine — is joining them.
Beginning May 25, Greta Constantine will release five non-medical grade face masks that will be available for purchase at small business retailers across the country. Here in Toronto, the masks can be found at Andrews online, Maxi Boutique in Yorkville and Lac and Co. on Davenport Road. The label chose to make the masks exclusively available at these retailers to do their part to support small businesses.
“We genuinely hope that this initiative will not only aid in protecting our neighbours, but also the small businesses that make our communities what they are,” says Jesse Greene, a senior manager at Greta Constantine.
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The masks themselves are made with the label’s signature Italian micro-fibre knit that is both breathable and machine-washable. Each mask features a double layer of the polyamide-elastane fabrication that wicks away sweat and is colourfast.
The designers behind Greta Constantine, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, also chose to name each mask after Toronto postal codes as all of the pieces are designed and produced in the city. So far on their Instagram page, they have announced the details for the M2 mask ($45) and the M4 mask ($65). In the coming days, more styles will be announced. Starting next week, consumers can begin to purchase the masks.
The masks are available in both adult and children’s sizes and range in price from $40 to $75. They are shipped individually in a vacuum-sealed pouch with care instructions and a hangtag.
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Toronto Public Health has recommended that masks be worn in spaces such as elevators, grocery, and retail stores as well as on public transit, in a taxi or ride share service and anywhere that physical distancing is a challenge.
“Recently, we learned that COVID-19 can spread before someone has symptoms or is even aware that they have the infection. This is why I am updating my message to you today and strongly recommending that residents use face masks and face coverings to protect others against their germs, in settings where physical distancing isn’t possible,” said Dr. de Villa. “This will help to reduce virus spread and protect our community until a vaccine, or treatment is available.”
Some key things to look for when shopping for masks is that they are breathable, fit securely, include at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric without gaping, and maintain their shape after washing and drying.
For more information on the recommended use of face masks for the general public, head to the City of Toronto website.