Quite honestly, we never thought we’d be writing about this, but here we are! There are several practices we’ve implemented since the start of 2020 that once felt strange but now feel quite normal — and face mask wearing is one of them. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, we saw the Northern Colorado community come together like never before, from providing food to local food banks to handing out free food to the community.
Plus, many businesses and makers began making cloth face masks for our frontline workers and anyone else who needed one. Now, after the city-wide mask mandate — and eventually a state-wide order — it looks like we’ll be wearing face masks for quite some time.
If you’re tired of your plain old mask you’ve been wearing since March, or you’ve been spending lots of money on disposable masks, you might consider adding a homemade cloth mask to your rotation. These Fort Collins businesses and Etsy makers are creating some unique, beautiful designs, with various features to provide a comfortable and stylish fit.
PS If you’re interested in paying it forward, consider joining the efforts of the Colorado Mask Project. With their help, you can make your own masks and donate them to those in need in your community.
Photo Courtesy of Topo Designs
Topo Designs is a well-known brand that got its start right here in Fort Collins. Towards the beginning of the pandemic, they began using their high-quality materials and detailed sewing skills to create face masks. Their masks are built with a double-layer construction, which includes a 6.5-ounce flat twill 100% cotton exterior and a 3.4-ounce polyester/cotton interior. This interior pocket allows for an air filter insert. Plus, each mask has adjustable elastic bands and a bendable metal nose strip for a secured, contoured and comfortable fit. Choose from their four simple color options, including olive green, graphite, white or black.
Stephanie Carlson Designs is helping the community in more ways than one with these adorable, well-made face masks. For every mask purchased, they are donating masks to local Northern Colorado organizations that need them. Each mask is lined with a jersey knit lining — made with unused t-shirts from the CSU athletic department! — for added comfort and protection. An elastic tie is left open so you can adjust the size to fit your face. Choose from a variety of adorable patterns (and a few plain ones!), from the Colorado flag to paisley and anchors to dog paws.
Photo Courtesy of Akinz
Early on in the pandemic, Akinz quickly pivoted to providing masks as a part of their collection of clothing and accessories, all geared for adventurers. They have two options, fitted and pleated, depending on the fit you prefer. Each mask has an adjustable nose wire and interior filter pocket, and is made with 100% cotton fabric. Choose between elastic straps for your ears or t-shirt ties that wrap around your head. They have a number of fun patterns to choose from — or you can opt for their “dealer’s choice” for either fitted or pleated if you’d rather be surprised!
Jukebox Quilts is now making masks out of their high-quality fabrics! Each mask is made with two layers of 100% cotton fabrics, has elastic ear straps, and is tailored to have a snug fit to the sides of your face. All masks purchased through their website are made to order and can take 1-2 business days to produce. But if you need a mask immediately, they have a selection of grab-and-go masks in their store for both children and adults. Jukebox has a variety of fun and colorful designs, all of which are reversible!
Magnolia Moon blends contemporary women’s apparel with professional day-to-night pieces, special occasion dresses, cozy basics and unique accessories. Now, they are adding masks to their selection of women’s shoes, handbags, home and gift items! Choose from their four patterns, including black geo, black grid, blue dot and navy gingham, all of which have pleated panels for adjusting to your face and adjustable elastic ties that can be tied together on each side to create customized ear loops. These masks are 100% cotton and can be hand or machine washed.
Etsy maker Eva Zmatlikova makes a variety of masks, all with two layers of cotton fabric and one layer of interfacing, acting as a filter for extra protection. Her customers praise the high-quality design and love how comfortable and breathable they feel. Eva makes a number of unique designs — simply choose your favorite pattern, choose the size (men’s or women’s) and it will ship within 1–2 business days!
Photo Courtesy of PlayhouseFoCo
Ruth and Hannah of PlayhouseFoCo on Etsy create adorable, reversible masks, which means you get two designs in one mask! They have adopted an adjustable system for their elastic option to create a more customized and advanced fit. After creating more than 400 fabric face masks for medical clinics, nursing homes, police departments, assisted living facilities and friends and family, this mother-daughter team decided to offer their masks for sale online. Each mask is made with washable fabric with three layers: two layers of 100% cotton with an additional interior filter. They have an integrated galvanized-wire nose bridge for a snug and contour fit. Not to mention, PlayhouseFoCo offers contactless delivery (location depending, pick up, and free shipping and donates a portion of each mask sale to COVID-19 related charities.
Julie of ENestorProducts on Etsy makes a variety of masks with four size options, ranging from small to extra large. Each mask is made with two layers of 100% cotton fabric, ¼-inch elastic ear straps, a 1-inch button hole for a straw, and reinforced stitching so it can be machine washed without falling apart. They offer free shipping in the U.S. with no minimum and every purchase supports Books for Kids, a non-profit promoting literacy among preschool-aged children in under-resourced communities.
Photo Courtesy of NoCoSucculents
For all things plants and succulents, look no further than NoCoSucculents on Etsy — and that includes their face masks. They have three unique designs, including a dark tropical pattern, a monstera pattern, and an adorable succulent pattern. These reusable cloth masks are made with two layers of 100% polyester fabric and feature elastic ear loops for a comfortable fit.
Thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe during this unusual time.
What local makers and businesses would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!