This week it became mandatory for residents of eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, to wear non-medical masks in indoor public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While this is critical to protect citizens, and employees of essential workplaces, it's important to be mindful of what kind of non-medical face mask you're getting ensuring its reusable not disposable.
Countries are ordering disposable masks by the billions to make available to the public. Unfortunately, disposable masks are too readily thrown away, ending up in landfills, oceans and washing up on beaches similar to plastic bags and other trash.
The good news is that the reusable face mask market is also booming and there are tons of options you can get from local artisans to big global brands. As with any new purchase however, its important to consider how and with what material your new garment has been produced.
The majority of reusable face masks are made with conventional cotton and/or polyester. Consider this - it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for a pairs of jeans. Conventional cotton is also grown with a higher amount of pesticides than any other crop, exposing farmers and surrounding communities to serious health problems.
The alternative? Choose organic cotton! Not only does organic cotton take 71% less water and 62% less energy to produce than conventional cotton, it is produced without toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers, creating safer work conditions for farmers.
Here are a few Canadian companies we love offering masks made from organic cotton:
- Obasan - Ottawa
- Thief & Bandit - Halifax
- Encircled - Toronto
- Bellantoni - Vancouver
- Dans Le Sac - Montreal
Thanks for reading and happy masking!