Since the outset of COVID-19, we all know that face masks have become a must-have accessory in many parts of the world and the laws are still in place in many countries where masks are either mandatory or recommended. While arguments have existed from day 1 as to how effective mask wearing has been in subsiding the spread of covid, history and culture have played a crucial role in polarising opinions. Nevertheless, face masks are not only practical but are becoming more and more of a statement accessory. In this blog post, we are going to be covering how face masks have evolved across the world and even how people are using them as a protective fashion statement.
How have face masks evolved across the world?
For many years, Western society has seen an increasing number of visitors from Asian countries such as China and Hong Kong wearing masks in public, even long before the covid pandemic. Wearing masks in these countries has generally been due to the increasing population and pollution. However, although this was a norm for these cultures and countries, Covid-19 has normalised mask wearing in western countries.
In early March of 2020, Venezuela and Vietnam were among some of the first countries to impose mask wearing as law. Closely followed by the Czech Republic in April, they were the first of the European countries to impose the law. However, the UK and the USA were among the countries that were promoting mask wearing as a suggestion until it became UK law in July of 2020. With this law starting to stretch out into 2021, businesses have not only grasped onto the fact that face masks are now in high demand, but many businesses have been creative, and the pandemic even spread to designers creating fashionable face masks to try and inspire others to follow the regulations. Whilst still protecting the public from airborne germs and particles, businesses have been creating ingenious designs and ideas that mean your face mask can match your outfit.
Forget handbags and shoes, facemasks very quickly became the new accessory, and although medical grade face masks are recommended for ultimate protection against the virus, cloth and fabric masks are also a favourite due to their skin-friendly qualities. This factor is what many creators and designers have held on to in evolving the standard medical mask into a fashion accessory.
Whilst this isn't to trivialise the pandemic, we have lost our ability to communicate through smiles and facial expressions, so many people are having to come up with alternative ways to make a first impression. And the custom designed masks are a perfect example of that. From brightly coloured fabrics, to patterns and design, masks have evolved even over the short period of the last 2 years.