Like you, I’ve been “stuck at home” for over 6 weeks now and I imagine that it will probably last for at least a couple more. I’m not travelling any farther than my local grocery store for essentials. But, that doesn’t mean I am not looking forward to a future where I will be travelling again. I’ll probably start with destinations a few hours from home and then expand to other countries and provinces once more widespread testing its in place. I think for the foreseeable future face masks will be part of our “required” dress code when in public. Which begs the question of where to buy your face masks from? Do you look on Amazon, pick one up at Walmart or another big-box retailer?
For me the answer is obvious, look local and shop local. When I travel I am always checking out the local independent restaurants, wineries, breweries and local attractions. I’m not eating at chain restaurants or shopping at big box retailers.
So in this time of crisis I’ve polled my community to help me source small Canadian business that have pivoted from their regular offering to creating and selling face masks. Here are some of their personal recommendations.
Cailin O’Neil of Nova Scotia Explorer– The Maritime Tartan Company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia typically creates garments made from local tartan. From Nova Scotian to Cape Breton and even Newfoundland tartan their scarves, shawls, blankets, ties and more are a great local souvenir. Maritime Tartan is a one woman business run by Sherrie Kearney who has been sewing for over 40 years. Sherrie has halted all tartan production and is currently sewing up to 500 masks by herself each week. Maritime Tartan has produced over 1200 masks free with donation that were shipped all over Canada and to even as far as California. Masks can now be ordered for $5.50 plus tax with a dollar from every sale being donated to local shelters, food banks, essential workers and more.
Tania Kedikian – Vintage is making a comeback in Hamilton, Ontario. My2Uncles, a local business conceptualized by John Mackinnon and Mike Melidoni, houses vintage and collectables for any niche – whether you’re fond of Barbies, leather jackets or rare Prince records. Not only do John and Mike collect unique and remarkable items, they’re taking recycled materials (including your old Ghostbusters bedsheet) and using them to fight the COVID-19 battle for medical workers in the community.
John, a sewing machine expert (he taught sewing classes at Ryerson University in the 90s) and fashion industry professional, along with Mike, collecting fascinating pieces since the 80s and having a self-proclaimed degree in superhero studies, were well-prepared to help the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation’s (MGHF) call for sewists to make masks. Over the last few weeks, they prepared several dozens of masks with fun and uplifting designs to spread cheer – from Spiderman to Pebbles, to LGBTQ+ flags. The masks have been a success thus far!
Now, Mike and John’s masks are available for purchase at $15 a pop – and they match each purchase with a donated mask for MGHF.
Nicole Hunter of Go Far Grow Close – Designer Apparel Services (DAS) is a small Vancouver based company that has been providing design and manufacturing services to local designers for the last 20 years. Recently DAS designed the Protechfacemask (check it out on Instagram @protechfacemask or at Protechfacemask.com) to meet the demand for a face mask which is reusable, washable and comfortable.
The Protechfacemask comes in multiple sizes and two styles. One style secures around the ears and the other around the back of the head. The mask is made with a layer of high density woven fabric with a durable water repellant finish on the outside, and a moisture wicking polyester knit fabric on the inside. Currently, it is sold with two disposable filter inserts. Olivia Bickerstaff, a member of the DAS team, took a lead role in designing the mask.
Sharon Mendelaoui of Daily Dream 360– The Tilley Endurables brand is known for its high quality and insured hats and headwear. Since 1980 they have been making hats and apparel in their Canadian facilities and selling them at retailers in 18 countries worldwide.
Now the team at Tilley has joined the fight against COVID-19 and has extended their production facility and converted their Toronto factory to produce masks and gowns for hospitals. These masks are for non-patient facing staff to help preserve medical-grade PPE for those on the front line.
In addition, Tilley is now making these non-medical masks available to consumers on their website www.Tilley.com. The company is donating 10% of proceeds to a COVID-19 relief to give back to the community.
Here are other small businesses in Canada making face masks listed by province from West to East. These are listed in the order they were shared with me. Prices vary so I encourage you to not just look at the price but check out each business to find the right one for you.
Face Masks in British Columbia
- Inner Fire $20
- Bamboobino $12
- Alicia’s Designs $34.99
- Method Innovation Partners Inc. Face Shields for commercial operations, price unknown
- Blackwood Career Apparel + Essentials min order of 6 at $6.50 ea
- Chloe Angus $80
- GotMask.ca $15
- Daub and Design price unknown
- Street and Saddle $14
- AW by Andrea Wong $10
- Anise & Dill $10
- Tattoos For Now $25
- Hero Culture $25
- Grey Hearts Denim $25
- The Cutting Room $35-40 (3pk)
- Fresh Beauty PG $25
- Smoking Lily $25
- Paddle Vancouver $18
- Vancouver Whitecaps for the Vancouver Aquarium $17.99 -$19.99
- Tavisha’s Helping Hands price unknown
Face Masks in Alberta
Face Masks in Saskatchewan
- Sask Masks $10
Face Masks in Ontario
- Peach Berserk $20
- O2 Canada air filtration masks $69.99 US
- Stitchharmony $8 – $10
- Ottawa area retailers prices vary
Face Masks in New Brunswick
I hope that by doing this we help these small businesses to stay open and employ people in our communities while also helping us stay fashionable. It’s a triple win!
This post will be updated whenever I find a hear of a small business that is making face masks for Canadians so if you know of one I have missed please list them in the comments below.