Masks and other facial coverings became a state mandate back in June of this year as a result of California’s efforts to try and slow the spread of Covid-19. Now they have become the fashion trend no one saw coming.
From fun patterns to political statements, people are donning their masks as another way to express themselves.
In the wake of this new craze, Cal Poly journalism junior Hannah Frye took it upon herself to create Hannah’s Place, an online reusable face mask business.
Hannah’s Place started as a way to combat the spike in sales of and the excess waste being created due to disposable masks. Frye was inspired to find a more sustainable alternative to disposable masks after watching a video of a deep sea diver diving among a sea of old masks, gloves and hand sanitizer bottles.
“COVID sucks, but we don’t need to make it worse than it already is by hurting the planet … and it’s just so easy. They’re machine washable and everything … it’s just so much easier than having to keep buying all these disposable masks,” said Frye.
The masks are all made out of silk because, according to Frye, using a softer material is better for sensitive skin. It helps prevent breakouts and rashes.
Frye wanted to ensure that the product she was creating was also keeping people safe as well as looking chic, so she double checked the quality of her fabrics.
“I did the blow test where you put the mask on and you try to blow a candle out,” said Frye. “I had this thinner fabric that I was going to use, but the candle would wiggle … Then I got a thicker fabric that can’t blow the candle out. [It] doesn’t even move the flame.”
One of Frye’s customers, Sydney Broadway, shares why she prefers these masks over others.
“They’re so comfortable. They work with eyeglasses. They’re not fogging up. You know how that’s always an issue with masks,” said Broadway. “Plus they’re so soft. There are many masks I’ve bought online that are so cute, but they’re edgy.”
For Broadway, it is the full experience that keeps her continuing to support Frye’s business.
“The biggest thing with Hannah’s Place masks, is that they’re satin. They’re breathable. They’re easy to wash and they’re so versatile,” said Broadway.
Hannah’s Place masks come in a variety of colors, patterns and some even have flowers sewn on or embroidery embellishments. These features have even garnered the attention of some bigger clients and mask projects for Frye.
“I actually just finished an order for a wedding. All the bridesmaids were wearing matching masks. It was really cute,” said Frye.
As of right now, Frye plans on sticking to just face masks. However, post-pandemic she intends on expanding her merchandise and keeping Hannah’s Place up and running.
Hannah’s Place can be found on instagram @hannahsplace_ and orders can be placed through direct message.