For all Victorians, it’s now mandatory that you wear a face mask when you leave your home for one of the four permissible reasons.
You do not have to be wearing a hospital-grade face mask to leave home; residents can wear reusable cloth masks, a homemade face mask or a face covering (such as a scarf or bandana).
So where can you get a mask in Melbourne? You can purchase both cloth masks and surgical masks (the two types that the DHHS recommends) from chemists and hardware stores, but many Melbourne retail stores and creatives have started selling their own. Here are some we like:
EveryHuman has launched a range of face masks that feature a clear panel over the mouth to help those in the deaf and hard of hearing community. The strap also goes around the head, rather than over the ear, so as to not disturb hearing aids. You can also purchase masks from EveryHuman without the clear panel. Check out the range here.
Handmade in Melbourne by theatre wardrobe creative Elyse Horner, all the profits from these reusable black masks go directly to support the Arts Wellbeing Collective. Check them out here.
Costumes Without Drama
In more usual times, this small business would be busily creating and shipping costumes for school productions around the country from its Ringwood workshop. With costuming needs on hold, Tracey Nuthall has pivoted her business to manufacturing specialised face masks with a clear window. The see-through panel allows hard of hearing people to lip-read, and is also useful for speech pathologists, carers, and all sorts of people working in service roles. These masks are triple-layered, hand washable and come in a range of colours and prints. Regular masks are also available. Check them out here. NB: Costumes Without Drama currently provides next-day dispatch from Melbourne.
These protective face masks are made by Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamilaroi woman Madison Connors, founder and creative director of Yarli Creative. Forty per cent of all profits from the pre-sale of these masks will be donated to the Elizabeth Morgan House which is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation that provides refuge accommodation and specialist family violence services to Aboriginal women and their children. Check out the masks here.
Clear Collective Masks
These cotton masks are made and sewn in Sydney and are made to stop pollution, pollen and bacteria from filtering in or out. There are numerous colour combos to choose from as well. Check them out here.
SisterWorks is a non-profit organisation that helps migrant women make a better living while in Melbourne. The team has been making reusable fabric face masks since the start of the pandemic. Buying one of these masks means you'll be supporting vulnerable communities as they navigate this tricky time. Check them out here.
Australian Face Masks
Another Aussie-made brand, Australian Face Masks have wide facial coverage and come in a number of colours. Check them out here. NB: Due to increased demand there's currently a 23-day delay in shipping orders for Australian Face Masks.
Grab one of these washable and reusable cotton masks in a bunch of colourful patterns, including animal prints. Check them out here. NB: There is currently a 14-day delay on all mask orders from Maskateers.
Chopsuey Inc is a local maker from West Footscray that makes personalised guitar straps. Now, they've started making colourful face masks made from 100 per cent cotton. Check them out here.
This CBD store is now selling artist-designed cloth face masks. Check them out here. NB: Monster Threads masks are currently sold out but you can pre-order online from the new batch due August 15.
These stylish face masks are made in Fitzroy North, coming in some cute patterns and come with a pocket to insert a filter. Plus you can get free shipping for all orders in Australia – check them out here.
These triple-layered masks are made in Melbourne in compliance with DHHS mask guidelines. There's a stack of cool designs available for both kids and adults, and 20 per cent of profits go towards charities (the charities change but during July and August the company is supporting the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Beyond Blue, the RSPCA, Bridging the Gap and Surfrider Foundation Australia). Take a look at the range here.
With in-person theatre productions put on ice, actor Todd McKenney has channeled his energy into a new project that helps out both his fellow stage and screen colleagues, and Australians looking after their community. The actor has launched a new website called Todd Masks – an online marketplace where the public can buy reusable face masks created by out-of-work costume designers.
This textile enterprise in Coburg helps women from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds find economic empowerment through sewing and textile programs. They’ve just started making reusable fabric face masks made from 100 per cent new cotton. There’s also a lining so you can slide in an additional filter. Check them out here. NB: Masks are currently out of stock but keep an eye on Second Stitch’s Instagram for updates.
The Social Studio
The Social Studio is a social enterprise that hires young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds in fashion and textile-based industries. These masks comply with DHHS guidelines and also come in seven different colour combinations. They’re breathable and machine washable. Check them out here. NB: The Social Studio has paused its mask sales while they fulfil existing orders. Stay tuned for updates.
Much loved Melbourne designer Kuwaii has released its own line of three-layer fabric face masks. There are three colours available and they’re all made here in Melbourne. Plus, $5 from every purchase goes to a rotating Covid charity. They’ll be available for preorder soon – head to the website for more info.
Rather make your own? Here's a guide to making your own no-sew face mask.
Stay up to date on current rules: Here's what you can and can't do in Victoria right now.
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