Toronto-based womenswear designer, Hilary MacMillan, announced today that she will be shifting her brand’s manufacturing capabilities to produce masks for frontline workers in Ontario.
MacMillan’s eponymous brand is a line of contemporary womenswear with a focus on being cruelty-free and size-inclusive. She is bringing her values to the production of the masks by ensuring they are made using upcycled materials.
The masks will not be medical grade and therefore will not be donated to hospitals, but frontline workers such as grocery store employees, staff that work in long-term care and seniors residences as well as people who work in shelters and for charities will be able to receive and use the masks.
The Hilary MacMillan team plans to produce 100 masks per week for the foreseeable future and production has begun immediately to ensure the first 100 masks are ready by Friday, March 27. The masks will be shipped from the company’s Toronto production facility and delivered to organizations that have requested them. Organizations can submit donation requests to receive the masks at email@example.com.
“As a Canadian brand and citizen, I understand the dire situation we are in with the spread of this global pandemic,” says MacMillan. “We felt it was our duty to do as much as we could to give back and help those in more vulnerable positions as both a show of support and to help keep our frontline workers safe and healthy.”
This comes at a time when local hospitals are seeking donations from the city’s physicians for personal protection equipment to help the healthcare professionals on the front lines dealing with COVID-19 patients. While medical grade equipment should be donated to healthcare professionals, MacMillan is filling the gap to provide non-medical grade masks to other frontline workers.
In accordance with the government of Ontario’s closure of all non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MacMillan has closed the retail sector of her company, but the brand is continuing to operate its e-commerce platform. Essentials in the Hilary MacMillan spring/summer 2020 collection are available online in sizes ranging from 00 to size 28.