Finnish face masks taking the fashion world by storm
Face masks are now mandatory on all Finnair flights, with more countries around the world requiring people to wear one during the coronavirus pandemic. But with disposable masks contributing to a growing wave of pollution, now is the time to invest in a fashionable, reusable mask that can be worn and washed over and over.
It’s no surprise that Finnish designers are creating fashionable face coverings that look great while keeping you safe.
The iconic Marimekko sells its fabric by the meter, meaning that designers and DIY-ers alike have been able to create and sell beautiful face masks using its bold and instantly recognizable prints. There are some superb options available from independent makers on Etsy, while Pirkko offers a huge range of machine washable options made from Marimekko fabric. It even sells patterns for those who want to buy their own fabric and try making their own mask.
Aarikka, the fashion brand which dates back to 1954, also has a colorful range of face coverings that are based on classic Finnish patterns. Best of all, they’re affordable as well as reusable, costing €25 for a pack of two.
But it isn’t just household names like Marimekko and Aarikka that are turning a medical essential into a neat fashion accessory. R–Collection, best known for anoraks and sweatshirts, designs its products in Kajaani, northern Finland, and pivoted to making masks early in the pandemic. It has produced a number of neat, pattern–based options. What’s more, the brand has a strong focus on sustainability and ethically produced materials, using organic and recycled cotton and polyester to tick environmental boxes as well as helping cut down on plastic waste.
Globe Hope is a brand with a similar philosophy. Founded by entrepreneur Seija Lukkala, it uses recycled materials for all of its products, with the aim of fighting back against fast fashion and the use of cheap, disposable materials. Its face masks are more functional than other, pattern–heavy designs made by Finnish companies, but they look great with workwear and are sewn into shapes that are designed to fit across the bridge of the nose snugly.
Masks have become the most unlikely fashion accessory of 2020. But thanks to its design heritage and place at the heart of the fashion world, Finland has managed to carve out a niche in this new space of modern day essentials. If you want to cover up in style, then few other countries offer so many stylish options.