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BFC and CFDA team up to launch designer face masks

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The British Fashion Council (BFC) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have teamed up to launch the ‘Great Global Designer Face Coverings’ campaign.

The two fashion councils are collaborating with Bag of Ethics, who will manufacture and retail internationally the sustainable and reusable non-medical faces, designed by three British designers and three American designers.

This marks the second round of BFC’s ‘Great British Designer Face Coverings’ campaign and will see Ahluwalia, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Marques’Almeida designing new face masks alongside American designers, Mara Hoffman, Lemlem by Liya Kebede, and Kim Shui, to raise money for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and CFDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity programming.

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, said in a statement: “This is a powerful time for collaboration across all sectors and the fashion industry has demonstrated strength in unity over the last number of months. We are excited to work alongside our American counterparts to promote local designers while encouraging sustainable practices in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus. 

“We are also delighted to continue working with Bag of Ethics, a longstanding supporter of the BFC, after the success of our first round of Great British Face Coverings in raising money to support British designers in surviving this challenging time.”

British and American designers join forces to launch charity face coverings

Steven Kolb, chief executive of the CFDA, added: “The CFDA is pleased to collaborate with the British Fashion Council, our counterpart in the UK. As the pandemic continues to impact lives worldwide, it is important that we all wear masks to protect ourselves and those around us. 

“We asked three of our designers - Mara Hoffman, Liya Kebede, and Kim Shui - to add their creative touch to this essential item. The masks will support our important DEI work and programming, which is key to the CFDA’s core mission.”

Each designer has put their own spin on the face masks, designing a print as well as sharing a message of hope on the reverse. For the UK, Preen opted for a classic floral print alongside the phrase “Breathe in the future, breathe out the past,” while Marques Almeida designed a purple tie-dye mask with the words “Radical Empathy” on the back, and Ahluwalia an uplifting blue check with “Blessings”. 

Commenting on taking part, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, said: “We were thrilled to tale part in the Great British Face Coverings, designing sustainable masks with 100 percent of sales going to charity. Our face covering has a classic Preen floral print, offering a touch of romance as we breathe out the past and breathe in the future.”

For the American designers, Mara Hoffman took inspiration from nature with white tropical flowers on a chocolate coloured background, while on the back, sharing her motto “Lead with Love”. Supermodel and actress, Liya Kebede, founder of ethical fashion brand LemLem designed a print of a blue and white gradient which is reminiscent of the colours of the sea and the sky, alongside her philosophy “We can make any change in the world if we have the courage to try” on the reverse. While Kim Shui shares a mask in a tropical print alongside the quote “Strength in Unity”.

Liya Kebede, founder of Lemlem, added: “I’m happy to be part of CFDA’s terrific sustainable mask initiative supporting CFDA Foundation. Our Lemlem masks are specially designed to add a splash of brightness to your day - and a dose of love and courage too.”

Ahluwalia, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Marques’Almeida, join American designers Mara Hoffman, Lemlem by Liya Kebede, and Kim Shui in new face mask campaign

The announcement follows on from the success of the BFC’s initial campaign which launched in June 2020, featuring Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn and Rixo, and resulted in a 500,000 pounds donation to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund.

The new face masks will be retailed at 15 pounds / 18 US dollars for three reusable, washable, fabric face coverings with two protective pouches. One pound from the sale of each face covering will be donated to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and one pound to CFDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity programming. 

The non-medical face masks will be available to buy online from partner retailers including bagofethics.org, Amazon, John Lewis and Partners and Waitrose and Partners. While in the US they will be retailed through Social Goods from December.

The project is part of BFC and CFDA’s wider initiatives to support creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the pandemic. It aims to “in-still public confidence and unite the public through creativity, prevent further depletion of medical mask supplies, champion British and American designers and maximise fundraising opportunities in a time of crisis”.

Images: courtesy of British Fashion Council

Bag of Ethics
British Fashion Council
Council of Fashion Designers of America
Face Masks