Use masks responsibly, creatively and in favor of the environment.

Coronavirus waste has become a new form of pollution as single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) floods our oceans.

Already, some 8 million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, adding to the 150 million tons that are estimated to already circulate in marine environments.

Researchers at the University College London did a study estimating that in the UK alone, if each person wears a single-use mask a day for a year, an additional 66,000 tones of contaminated waste and 57,000 tones of plastic wrap would be created.

If in any way we are going to use masks, which is what is recommended by the various health institutions, we can do it in a responsible, creative and environmentally friendly way.

Here are some responsible ways to create and wear masks:

Masks made with fiber from the banana tree that help eliminate plastic waste from Covid-19

The fiber of the abaca tree, a relative of the banana, could replace the plastic in millions of masks and hospital gowns the world is producing to fight the coronavirus.

Global efforts to ban single-use plastics have receded as nations prioritize hygiene over the environment for packaging and medical supplies, creating a hot spot for chemical companies like LyondellBasell Industries and Trinseo.

Sales of disposable masks are projected to increase more than 200 times worldwide this year to $166 billion dls, according to a United Nations trade article, citing consultancy Grand View Research.

Companies have been reluctant to replace plastic with biodegradable alternatives due to concerns about cost and whether the new materials are strong and effective enough for medical use.

A preliminary study from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology showed that abaca paper is more resistant to water than a commercial N-95 mask and has pore sizes within the range recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States to filter hazardous particles.

The Philippines is the world's largest producer, it supplied 85% of the fiber in 2017, according to the latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. World production is projected to be worth $100 million dls this year.

For more information, click here.

Lolo Mercadito

This store brings together the work of several Mexican indigenous communities that are dedicating themselves to making masks in order to cope with the economic crisis that they are also suffering.

All products are handmade by artisans, the designs are varied because each region has different weaving traditions.

Some of the regions with which they work are Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Cristóbal, and Tlaxcala.

There are many startups that are doing this work. The most important thing to note is that it is work done by hand and the money that is generated goes directly to the communities. Not in its entirety, in this specific case, but it is important to know where the products come from because that way the income generated goes to the most vulnerable communities.

The supply chain tends to be very complex, if we can make sure where our products come from, we can make sure that the money ends up in the right hands.

For more information, click here.

Summer Romero's Gaiamasks

Gaiamasks are made with scraps from the collections. All of them are unique pieces, made of cotton, washable and have a compartment. Some of the masks are hand-embroidered by the Mazahua team of artisans, also dyed with natural pigments.

The most outstanding thing about these masks is that they all contain herbs from the #gaianautastudio Garden in Valle de Bravo such as lavender, rosemary or geranium that help harmonize the nervous system. In other words, the masks provide aromatherapy when they are used.

For more information, click here.

Click here to watch our interview with Summer Romero.

Sylvia Calvo

These masks are made of GOTS certified organic cotton, reusable and with a filter compartment.

They have hand painted the Dirac equation, which is the most beautiful equation in science: We can have a universe between us, but we will remain united. ⠀

"Tell me something nice ... and he said": ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

(∂ + m) ψ = 0⠀

In practice, '(∂ + m) ψ = 0' defines that if two systems interact with each other for a certain period of time and then separate, we can describe them as two different systems, but in a subtle way they become a single system.


Sylvia Calvo explains that fashion can be a vehicle to bring science closer to