Where to Buy Ethical Face Masks in the UK

From 24th July it will be mandatory to wear a mask when entering a shop in England. Wearing a mask is also mandatory when using public transports, including Uber.

In Scotland it is already compulsory to wear a face mask on public transports and shops and in Wales, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from 27 July.

The Welsh Government is also advising people to wear masks in crowded places where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are also compulsory on public transport in Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland.

It seems that after all the initial confusion everybody now agrees that wearing a mask helps reducing the spread of the virus. As reported on The Independent, Professor Trish Greenhalgh, of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, said: “My mask protects you; yours protects me".

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the UK's national science academy, said everyone should carry a face covering when out and about. "Not wearing a face covering should be regarded as 'anti-social' in the same way as drink driving or failing to wear a seatbelt," he said.

Nevertheless, it remains paramount that the general public do not wear surgical face masks as they should be reserved for NHS staff and frontline workers only. Also, it is important to remember that wearing a face mask is not intended to replace other recommended measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, washing your hands and refraining from touching your face.

The Environmental Cost of Disposable Masks

Many shops and businesses are offering disposable masks when customers don’t have their own but the potential damage of every single person in the UK using these masks is huge.

Conservationists have warned that this pandemic could spark a surge in ocean pollution– after finding disposable masks floating like jellyfish and waterlogged rubber gloves scattered across sea beds.

If every person in the UK used one single-use face mask each day for a year, it would create 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste, the report warns, and ten times more climate change impact than using reusable masks.

It’s great to know that we don’t really need to add up more plastic that cannot be disposed. So which options do we have?

 More Environmentally Friendly Solutions

- Make your own mask

 If you want to give it a try and make a face covering on your own, there are many tutorial on Youtube and a practical guide also on the government website , but if you’re not confident in your creative abilities, there is a wide choice of face covering that are ethically made or fair trade.

- Buy Reusable Face Coverings

 Here’s a small list of places to start from ( other than us   ) 

  • Fair and Fabulous
  • The Just Shop
  • All’s Fair
  • Karakorum
  • Just Trade UK
  • Where does it Come From

And a few local shops if you’re around the area:

  • Fairtrade St Michaels (Oxford)
  • Dan’s Refill Store (Chalfont St. Peter)
  • Siesta Crafts (Canterbury)
  • RISC - Reading International Solidarity Centre (Reading)
  • Gifted (Thaxted)

Aside from the health and environmental benefits of choosing a reusable mask, purchasing an ethically made face cover can help support small businesses staying afloat during one of the worst crisis we ever faced.

Practical Tips

4 ways to keep glasses from fogging when wearing a mask

  • Put your glasses over your mask, rather than underneath

  • Get an anti-fogging spray

  • Use a nose bridge. You can get self-adhesive aluminum strips online and attach it to your mask
  • Try washing your glasses with soap and water, then letting them air dry. The soap will leave behind a film that prevents glasses from fogging, although it’s best to avoid soaps that are made with lotion.

 

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Ways You Can Help - Covid-19 Response

 

 

Ours is not just a shop, it supports small producers groups in the developing world as well as local businesses here in the UK. You can still help bringing our mission forward.

Our gift card is a great present to give someone you love, they can choose what they like and redeem it when it's more convenient. Your gift will not only bring a smile to the person you give it to, but it will also allow us to keep providing work and support when it matters the most. 

This collection was born with the idea of supporting causes we care about while sending out a powerful and positive message. Now more than ever we feel there is a need to overcome fear reminding ourselves that we are all in this together. Our world might not be the same again, but this doesn't mean we cannot try to build a better one.

Who we are supporting:

Our Artisans: All the proceeds from the t-shirts will be donated to them in an effort to provide them a lifeline while both us and them are in lockdown. As working becomes impossible we still want to provide them with an income that can help them go through this difficult time.

FareShare: The London We Are One t-shirt will support FareShare in their effort to redistribute surplus food to frontline charities and community groups and ensure that those most vulnerable are not put at increased risk of hunger.

 

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A New Collection for a New Beginning

"We’re seeing in real time that we are so much more interconnected to one another than our quite brutal economic system would have us believe." - Naomi Klein 

Indeed we are. We are all interconnected. Our actions, our lives, our sense of self are all in relation to the other. 

We have been wondering what we could do to help, how we can continue to use our platform to keep supporting causes we care about. 

To that end, we have decided to create a new t-shirt collection that will enable us, with your help, to donate to our artisans and to FareShare, a charity whose work is close to our hearts. Our idea is to send out a powerful and positive message that can keep us focused on the future. A message of hope and togetherness. Maybe our world won't be the same again, but we can try to build a better one.

Who we are supporting and why:

Our Artisans in Cambodia: All the proceeds from the t-shirts will be donated to them in an effort to provide them a lifeline while both us and them are in lockdown. They are currently leaving Phnom Penh and returning to their home towns as they have no work. As working becomes impossible we still want to provide them with an income that can help them go through this difficult time.

FareShare: The London We Are One t-shirt will support FareShare in their effort to redistribute surplus food to frontline charities and community groups and ensure that those most vulnerable are not put at increased risk of hunger. As the situation develops rapidly, they anticipate they could see increasing demand for their service and they are stepping up their operation so that nobody will fall through the gap.

FareShare work is important now more than ever and with your help we can make sure that all the 11,000 frontline charities and community groups can continue provide their services.

If you want to check out our new t-shirt collection you can do this here>> COLLECTION

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Daring to Dream in Times of Crisis

In time of crisis it's normal to react with fear and anxiety. The current situation is unprecedented, it's depriving us of human contact, it's letting us fear others. We are all in full survival mode, stockpiling things that just now we realise being finite, when in reality they always were, but we seemed not to care.
It looks like the world is coming to an end and probably it is, but not like in these Armageddon movies. It surely is the end of the world as we know it and as we experienced it to be, but that doesn't mean that it has to be worst than before. In time of crisis, the shock to the system is so big that we have the chance of changing that system in ways that we thought couldn't be possible. 
What if we all started to find new ways to reimagining the world, new ways to protect those in need, new ways to be with each other no matter how far we are, new ways to create a society that works for all, not just for the fews? 
What if governments started providing means so that each and every citizen would feel protected despite the odds of life? What if businesses started to care about workers and regarded them as resources instead of expendable entries on the account books? 
What if we all slowed down so that our Earth can breath again? What if we could transform this crisis in an opportunity instead? 
Signs of solidarity are popping up everywhere, people are self-organising and not just self-isolating, taking matters in their own hands at the best of their abilities. And that is probably what is needed the most, a proactive attitude that overcomes fear and spread kindness. A radical change of values that boosts our morale, that doesn't let us look passively while governments reduce our rights in the name of a public health emergency, but that let us actively demand for more. 
As of today there are over 900 mutual aid groups here in the UK, born with the idea of coordinating care efforts for people who are self isolating, especially if they are part of a more at risk demographic including the elderly, disabled and people with other pre existing health issues.  You can join your closest one here COVID-19 MUTUAL AID UK  
We believe that the best way out of this will be kindness and not fear.
Our common effort, our imagination, our love for life itself can usher us out of this crisis into a world that we only dared dreaming, until now. 
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Zero Waste Christmas Market

This year will be taking part to the second edition of the Zero Waste Christmas Market, which will be on Saturday 7th December. Organised by the amazing Mel of Zero Waste Goods, the market will see over 50 unique zero waste brands, zero plastic packaging and wrapping, zero-to-landfill policy, festive workshops and sustainable seminars and a zero waste gift wrapping station among other things. Plus, profits from the event will be used to reforest our beautiful countryside.

Building on the success of last year, Zero Waste Goods will be bringing what was the first zero waste market in Europe to more cities! Manchester and Brighton will see their own zero waste market too.

On a mission to help Brits reduce their environmental impact, this year Zero Waste Christmas Market will have more brands, more variety, more space, more entertainment and, as always, festive must-haves that don't cost the Earth. They are also promoting having a sustainable festive season via their campaign "OMG" - one magical gift. Because, as they say, that's all you need to give.  

For more info visit: ZERO WASTE GOODS

For tickets to the London ZERO WASTE MARKET visit EVENTBRITE

 

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