When the COVID-19 crisis hit, well-known outdoor apparel brands such as Arc’teryx and Quartz Co. adapted their manufacturing to create masks and medical garments for healthcare workers on the frontlines. They have shown great flexibility and stepped in when protective equipment was running out.
Some companies created masks for the public too. Brands like Kanuk, Little Yogi, Naked & Famous and Keen. Their experience and craftsmanship was put to work to make beautiful, high-quality face masks we’ll actually want to wear. And with many provinces making masks mandatory in closed public spaces, the timing couldn’t be better. Here are some of our faves.
Kanuk: Following Health Regulations With Elegance
Well established in Montreal since 1970, Kanuk was born out of a local entrepreneur’s desire to make winter coats for our cold and humid climate. Armed with its local expertise in the realm of fabric, Kanuk crafted its famous Silver Thread Face Masks for the public.
The Silver Thread That Makes All the Difference
The silver thread is what sets Kanuk’s masks apart. Used by NASA and work garment companies, silver thread had long been renowned for its antibacterial, antifungal, and thermoregulating properties, as well as for its ability to limit odours and humidity. The result is a mask that is thick, but more breathable than most fabric masks.
Little Yogi: Colourful and Made with Organic Fabric
One of the reasons Canadian brands are making masks, apart from wanting to help people, is seeing the public’s desire for quality. More and more people are wearing masks to protect themselves and others, and slow the spread of the virus.
However, we are also realizing that wearing a mask isn’t always comfortable (and heatwaves don’t help!). We can’t always breathe that well, glasses fill get fogged up, etc. This can take away our motivation to wear one, but these are also reasons to invest in a reliable, quality option. Masks like Little Yogi‘s. Original, perfectly adjusted and cute, they’re a great fit for the whole family.
Made with bamboo and organic cotton, they are reinforced with polyester on the inside. They even come with an internal pocket allowing you to insert a piece of fabric if you wish to add an extra layer. Little Yogi masks are available in adult and child sizes.
Adults – Unisex
Naked & Famous—Fashion Serving Society
Naked & Famous is a Canadian company unlike any other. Entirely focused on the quality of their clothes (particularly their famous Japanese denim), the brand started creating masks for the public at the beginning of 2020.
Why do we love them? First of all, because they are made here in Canada. We also love them because they are more comfortable than homemade ones thanks to their dual-layer design that still allows you to breathe with ease. Made of 100% cotton, these reusable masks come with ear loops and stay securely put.
Keen: Putting Your Comfort and the Planet First
Keen is renowned for its comfortable shoes. When the pandemic broke out, The Oregon-based brand started creating face masks to keep their employees safe. They then decided to keep going, and created masks for the public. “Made with love”, they are both comfortable and durable, just like the everyday shoes we slip on before leaving the house.
Made from sustainable BCI-Certified cotton, the Keen Together mask is the only one we’ve seen with adjustable ear loop slides, to get just the right fit. Available in a variety of colours in adult and children’s sizes.
Help Protect Yourself and Others
Wearing a face mask can help protect you, especially if you have a tendency to touch your face often. But masks mostly protect others and can help limit the spread of the virus. Also, with masks now being mandatory in closed public spaces in some provinces, it will be useful to have one on hand. With elegant, quality models available, it’s now easier than ever to find one you will be happy to wear.