Rosie the Riveter’s iconic bandana gets redesigned for the COVID-19 era

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An original Rosie the Riveter is making masks and lobbying Congress to recognize women’s contributions to the war effort. During another difficult moment in human history—World War II—women who went to work in factories and shipyards donned scarves on their heads to keep sweat and hair off their faces. These women were represented by the iconic Rosie the Riveter poster, in which a female wartime worker wears a red polka-dot bandana. Now, one of the original Rosies has started making face masks out of that same patterned fabric as part of the fight against COVID-19. Read Full Story

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The untold origin story of the N95 mask

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The most important design object of our time was more than a century in the making. It’s hard to think of a symbol of COVID-19 more fraught than the N95 respirator. The mask fits tightly around the face and is capable of filtering 95% of airborne particles, such as viruses, from the air, which other protective equipment (such as surgical masks) can’t do. It’s a life-saving device that is now in dangerously short supply . As such, it has come to represent the ineptitude , greed , and even hopelessness of the global response to COVID-19. Read Full Story

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Do kids need face masks? Yes, and here are the 8 best options we found

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These masks are comfortable, washable, and come in adorable prints your kids might actually want to wear Masks are an incredibly easy way to help prevent the spread of disease (namely, COVID-19)—but it’s not always easy to get everyone in your household to wear one. We’re looking at you, kiddos. The CDC advises that children over the age of 2 wear a mask when they cannot maintain adequate distance from another person—because even if your child isn’t ill, they can still transmit viruses. That’s why we’ve found eight different (fun) face masks made specifically for kids that make it just that much easier to get them on board with face coverings. Each of these kids masks is reusable, well-fitting, and perfectly printed and colored to your kids’ liking. Read Full Story

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Plant this disposable face mask when you’re done, and it’ll sprout flowers

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Hundreds of billions of masks create a lot of waste. We need to think differently. Disposable masks are necessary during COVID-19. But we’re burning through them at an astounding rate . Every minute we throw away 3 million masks, which adds up to 129 billion per month. To make matters worse, most of these masks are made of plastic fibers, which are more prone to break down into microplastics than plastic bags or water bottles. Read Full Story

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These new vending machines in Hong Kong offer free medical-grade masks to people in need

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As Hong Kong faces a second spike in coronavirus cases, it’s finding ways to get protective equipment to people who can’t afford it themselves. In new vending machines that will soon be installed in neighborhoods in Hong Kong, low-income residents will be able to pick up sets of free face masks to help protect them from COVID-19. “Our goal is to make things as easy and convenient as possible for low-income families and disadvantaged groups, allowing them to get these much needed medical face masks while still maintaining social distancing,” says Adrian Cheng, the CEO of the development and investment company New World Development , which pivoted to manufacturing masks earlier in the year and is now working with nonprofits to place 35 of the new vending machines throughout the city. Read Full Story

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Bra masks are a thing now

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The underwear-as-outerwear trend makes a play for your face. A slew of fashion brands have pivoted their manufacturing to meet demand for fabric masks, which can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But one Japanese brand has adapted apparel that rarely sees the light of day under normal circumstances—and may have unwittingly brought back an ’80s trend in the process: underwear as outerwear. Read Full Story

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Making your own mask? These are the 5 most important things to consider

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Two design professors share tips for making safe, comfortable masks at home. The recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to use cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 has generated numerous how-to articles and videos. As academics who focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) research and development, we are concerned about the lack of information on two critical features of home mask design: fit and fabric selection. Read Full Story

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The global crisis that changed fashion forever—and gave women pockets

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World War I offers clues about how COVID-19 might permanently alter the way we dress. COVID-19 has changed the way we dress: Stuck at home, we’ve ditched suits and party frocks for sweatpants and nap dresses . But this isn’t the first time in history that a major world event has altered fashion. World War I also led to seismic shifts: Women ditched constricting corsets for bras, comfy jersey fabric was all the rage, and pockets were in mass-produced women’s garments for the first time. Read Full Story

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