Artisan workwear firm turns waste into masks

Award-winning Yorkshire textile firm The Stitch Society has launched a range of attractive masks utilising the offcut fabrics from its bespoke apron production, with profits donated to NHS Charities Together.

Charlotte Meek, entrepreneurial founder of The Stitch Society in Saltaire has been recognised in the past for ethical and sustainable work practices, shortlisted by Blue Patch for Social Impact Award of the Year and winner of the Keighley Business Awards, so the initiative in response to COVID19 is in keeping with the firm’s ethos.

Charlotte explains “We have always worked with repurposed fabrics or those made locally in the Yorkshire textile mills. ‘Waste not, want not’ goes to the very heart of the business, so we were glad to be able to make this small practical contribution to the fight against COVID19”.

After experimenting with several designs, the winner is now in production. The face masks are available online from The Stitch Society website and are offered in a variety of fabrics and colours with vintage fabrics, cottons and linens to choose from for men and women, all at £7 including a percentage to the charity. Although not purporting to be medical masks, they act as a physical barrier to catch unexpected coughs and sneezes, preventing the spread of germs and helping to reduce subconscious hand to face contact.

The masks feature a double layer of fabric and are shaped with a centre seam to fit snuggly around the face for an effective and comfortable fit. They are durable and machine washable at up to 60 degrees. The coloured, removable ties allow the mask to fit snugly by pulling gently to fit and tying, with extra ties available for purchase.

Response to the masks has been positive with demand from individual customers and retailers. Charlotte noted:

“We have been delighted how well the masks have been received. We are known for our stylish and comfortable workwear and wanted to design a facemask that would give our customers peace of mind when out and about.”