Many of us are considering covering our faces in public. Here is a guide to the Irish businesses making masks and how to wear them correctly

Internationally, there has been evidence that wearing masks helps to prevent the spread of virus, though some studies say it may not make a difference. We are encouraged to wear face coverings on public transport and inside shops, where it may be difficult to social distance from others.

Some Irish designers have put their skills to work and created sustainable face coverings. These masks are not medical grade. They will act as a barrier to prevent you from touching your face and catching coughs and sneezes. They are reusable and made from quality materials like Irish linen and 100% cotton.

Where to buy Irish-made face masks

*Please note: These masks regularly sell out due to high demand. Please check with the individual designers for details on restocking and pre-order dates.

Helen Steele

Designer Helen Steele created a limited edition range of sustainable cotton and silk face masks. Each mask costs €25, with a percentage of every sale going to the Jack and Jill Foundation. Order via DM on Instagram.

Bébhínn

Irish designer Bébhínn’s second batch of masks sold out in just three minutes. But do keep an eye on her Instagram account for more. The masks are made with two layers of 100% Irish linen. The patchwork ones are created by stitching little pieces of leftover linen that were too small to be used for garments.

Mariad Whisker

Mariad Whisker’s handmade masks are made with 100% Irish linen, vintage ribbon, velvet or elastic. Each mask costs €35 and one is donated for every sale. Most designs have sold out, but there are a couple left including this vibrant red design. They are available to order from her daughter Domino’s website, dominowhisker.com.

RashR

Irish clothing brand RashR creates sustainable clothing and accessories. Now they use the same materials used to make their renowned rash vests (protective clothing for surfers) to make eco-friendly face masks with filters. Made from recycled polyester, and available ain child and adult sizes, the masks can be worn for up to eight hours. Each mask is €19.99 and includes one filter, with €2 per mask being donated to the Irish Lung Fibrosis Foundation.

Laura Jayne Halton

Artist and designer Laura Jayne has turned her attentin to detail to making reusable face masks in six different styles. They are available for pre-order via DM on her Instagram @laurajaynehaltondesign or Facebook business page Laura Jayne Halton. All are made of high thread count 100% cotton, organic Irish linen or pure silk depending on style. Customisable with colour options for grosgrain ribbon ties as well as elastic depending on the wearer’s preference. Cost is €25 including postage and packaging nationwide, with 10% of sales being donated to The Irish Cancer Society.

Fionnuala Bourke Design

Kildare costume designer Fionnuala Bourke has been making a unique style of mask with adjustable straps. She is known for designing costumes for international dancers, pole dancers and WWE stars, but has teamed up with her father, a fire engineer, to turn her studio into a mask factory. The masks are washable and are available in four different styles. You can mail her on Facebook or Instagram to order, and each mask costs €10. You can also pay it forward by paying €15 or donating to her GoFundMe page, to donate a mask to someone in a nursing home, to carers and vulnerable people in the celbridge area where she is from. So far over €2,000 has been raised.

View this post on Instagram

A new week ahead, we have another seamstress coming on board to help us sew masks faster!! We have a go fund me set up for people to help us donate masks to front line staff, nursing homes, carers, and people who badly need them (if you fall into this category your mask is free) We are also selling masks to the general public for 10€ each plus shipping or €15 each if you want to pay it forward and donate to our cause. Payment for these would be through PayPal (go fund me is totally separate), you can pay this way easily without having an account. I have 4 different styles of masks and a few different colours- and my masks are a bit unique from others I use a layer of non woven interfacing sandwiched in the middle of the layers which according to the internet works like a barrier. Mail me here on insta or Facebook 💗

A post shared by Fionnuala Bourke (@fibourkedesign) on

Face It, by Ireland’s Eye

Dublin knitwear company Ireland’s Eye has started producing 100% cotton face masks. They have already donated 1,000 to frontline workers. They are available in plain and patterened fabrics, and come in packs of two for €20. They are currently offering free shipping anywhere in Ireland. Order at faceit.ie.

Eamonn McGill

View this post on Instagram

I’m so excited to announce that we have just launched our non-medical fashion face coverings with @trendsbeautydistribution which will be available to purchase in a number of pharmacies, retail stores and online. Following the lead of designers around the world, 3 weeks ago we started making face coverings for friends and family – you may have seen my tutorial on how to make one yourself. With the current climate, countries like Germany, Italy and Scotland have put measures in place recommending that everyone wears a face covering (non-medical) whilst out in public, helping to prevent touching of the face and acting as a shield. Fashion face coverings are becoming a must have fashion accessory and so we decided to make them a little more fun, with over 50 styles available to retailers and 15-20 styles available for individual purchases from @trendsbeautydistribution We have 3 face covering designs available; block colour, patterned and our luxury option with prices varying by design. Each one consists of 2-4 layers of fabric depending on the style: 2 layers of 97% cotton jersey, 1 layer of scuba and an additional printed or sequin layer for our luxury designs. Each one is machine washable up to 60 degrees. For each face covering sold, we will be donating a % to our chosen charity @simoncommunity . I’m so pleased to be partnering with trends as it gives my team and I the chance to focus on design and production while they look after all orders Hope you all like what we have come up with 😀

A post shared by Eamonn Mc Gill (@eamonnmcgilldesign) on

Irish designer Eamonn McGill has created a range of face coverings in fun patterns. With several styles to choose from, they are available from Trends Beauty Distrubution from €22.25. They are made with 2-4 layers of fabric, with 97% cotton and 1 layer of scuba, plus a layer of design fabric. A percentage of each sale will be donated to Dublin Simon Community.

Natalie B Coleman

Designer Natalie B Coleman‘s beautiful face coverings are already sold out, but she plans to release a pre-order next week. The stunning face masks are made from 100% silk taffeta, silk or lace and silk, with two layers and a pocket to add a filter. A share of profits will be donated to Women’s Aid.

Jennifer Rothwell

Jennifer Rothwell has created colourful non-surgical masks, like this hummingbird design. It is made with two layers of viscose material and costs €22. Jennifer Rothwell will donate 10% of profits from all sales to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless.

Irish Linen House

Irish Linen House makes beautiful linens for the home. They recently started producing face masks, made from 100% Irish linen. Linen is naturally antibacterial, moisture-wicking and controls body temperature. It is also hypoallergenic. They can be machine or handwashed and can be boiled. They are available in a male or female size and cost €16 with free shipping. They come in natural, turquoise, pink, blue, green and more. Some colours are temporarily out of stock but should be restocked soon. Shop the masks here.

Montgomery Millinery

Derek at Montgomery Millinery has been making masks for sale, and has also donated almost 2,000 masks to frontline and essential services staff. They are double layer face masks using 100% cotton sourced from his fabric supplier. Adult masks cost €10 and kids masks cost €8. Send a DM on Instagram to order. You can also view his DIY mask tutorial here. The tutorial was shared by US designer Michael Costello, who has designed pieces for stars like Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé, and as a result Derek has received orders from all over the world. He has a team of 13 people owrking on the masks currently to keep up with demand.

Moon Mood

Moon Mood design and make children’s bedding sets and accessories in their studio in Killaloe, Co Clare. They have started making a range of washable and reusable cotton masks for adults and children. They are made with two layers of 100% cotton fabric and two elastic straps. Prices start from €6 and there are four sizes available. 10% of sales will be donated to Clarehaven Charity for victims of domestic abuse. Shop the masks here.

Stable of Ireland

Stable of Ireland restock their sought-after travel mask regularly. The masks are made from Irish linen to offer natural protection and comfort and it’s an ethically made and sustainable product. Shop the masks here.

Irish Socksciety

Irish Socksciety are also currently sold out, but their ‘Howya’ masks cost €3 and come in two colours. Keep an eye on their site here.

We Make Good

We Make Good Ireland masks are made by the social enterprise The Textiles Studio. Buy a mask for yourself and for someone in Direct Provision for €25.

Niamh McCabe

Designer Niamh McCabe prints and handmakes her masks. The designs are really gorgeous and the masks are ethically produced. They cost €33 each and 15% of proceeds will go to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Shop the masks here.

Trousseau Ireland

Trousseau Ireland make bridal accessories and functional gifts. Their masks are also currently sold out but will be replenishing stock in a few days. The three layer reusable masks cost €8.95. They are made with one layer of black Irish linen and cotton mix and two layers of pink antimicrobial bamboo provides protection, comfort, and breathability that can be used time and time again. It is suggested that you soak them for 15 minutes in boiling water before adding them to your usual washing.

The Lion and The Monkey in Galway is a brand making childrens clothes and accessories. Their colourful masks have gotten a big response. Their masks are made of double sided 100% cotton that can be washed at up to 90 degrees. They come with a pocket for a filter and have four jersey strings to tie the mask around your head. It costs €15 for a pack of two, including postage.

View this post on Instagram

What crazy times we are living in. It can be quite scary and because so many of you have asked, we decided it would be a great contribution to our community to try keep each other safe. As of today, you’ll be able to purchase mouth/ nose masks, to offer some sort of protection for other people. They can be purchased in pack of 2 and only what is already there. We will try to keep up the demand so please be patient. The masks are double sided with 100% cotton, can be washed at 90°C. They have four jersey strings, to tie the mask begind your head. They come with a little pocket, to place a filter. The filters can be bought separate, if required. Our stock will be updated instantly. We will have a folder of the masks on Facebook and Instagram. Just leave a comment and we will contact you. 15€ per pack, free postage. 👍 This is not a medical – grade product. This product is not certified and does not have a FFP-standard. This mask can lower the risk of infection of other people and is not designed nor equipped or safeguard from infection. We do not make any medical claims regarding this product. We hope you all stay safe. Sunny greetings from Galway Nadine & Simone x #staysafe #facemask #covid_19

A post shared by the lion and the monkey (@thelionandthemonkeyshop) on

How to use a mask safely

The care you take with your mask is essential to its efficacy. Here are some tips:

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Some masks come with or have a space for a filter. Replace the filter for every wear.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it. If you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • To remove the mask, remove it from behind, not touching the front of mask, and clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When wearing a cotton mask, replace the mask with a clean, dry one if it becomes damp. Do not re-use single-use masks. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for reusable masks.