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Have Clothes to Donate? Turn Them Into Face Masks Instead

Homemade cloth face masks on a table top.

Turning your clothes donation pile into masks is not only genius, but it’s also environmentally friendly. With donation centers temporarily closed, it’s a perfect time to turn unwanted clothing into protective gear.

How perfect of a time? The clothes you’ve set aside to donate in the near future are sitting in a box or a bag, collecting dust and waiting for you to drive to Goodwill whenever it opens back up. Meanwhile, you’ve ordered some masks online, and you’ve been waiting for them for over two weeks now, without a real ETA.

Instead of wrapping a scarf around your head or painfully gazing at that T-shirt you’ve decided to sacrifice to cut into a mask, head over to your donation box, and grab something from there. It’s not like you’ll miss it anyway!

Face Masks DIY

With plenty of DIY videos out there, you can literally make one in less than 5 minutes. And, you don’t have to be a sewing expert to do it. That’s why any piece of fabric will do, but cotton might be your best bet, as it’s super easy to wash and dry.

While you’re at it, don’t stop with just one. You’ll want to make at least five pieces as you’ll be washing them all the time.

Moreso, if you have other family members living with you. Turn it into a fun family activity and even get your kids involved, they’re usually always excited about anything crafty.

Good for the Planet

Not only will your masks be unique and you can use any pattern you like, but you’re also doing something great for the environment, as you’re sustainably reusing old pieces of clothes and transforming them into something else instead of buying into mass production and contributing to the pollution of the planet.

It might seem like only a small thing to do on your part, but it’s definitely a great step towards a more sustainable future. If more people follow in your footsteps, you’ll be starting a movement, and then your small thing turns into a little bit bigger one.

The topic of sustainability has been extremely popular in recent years, with renewable energy sources,  reducing the carbon footprint, and preventing our ecosystem from crashing down becoming alarmingly important in our fight against climate change.

That’s why many different companies transformed a part (or all) of their production and distribution to make it “greener” and more environmentally friendly, resulting in saving water, reducing carbon emissions, working with recyclable materials, slowing down the destruction of rainforests, and making more natural items from plants and other recyclable materials.

Good for Your Budget

Woman putting a cloth face mask on.

You probably never thought you’d live in a time when toilet paper, disposable gloves, and face masks became a luxury, both in terms of scarcity and price.

When the whole quarantine situation started, people started buying these products in large sums, causing a worldwide shortage. This naturally drove the prices through the roof, with some people even trying to make the most out of the situation and selling the ones they already have for an insane amount of money.

That’s why by making your own, you’re also saving money. And with the way things are going right now and so many people being laid off and losing their sources of income, realizing you have everything to make them in your home is a relief to more people than you might even think.

Good for Your Health

There’s been some confusing information out there, from CDC recommendations to only wear them when you’re feeling sick and to avoid buying them so that the ones who truly need it don’t get left out. Reports show that everyone should be wearing them, and that certain essential businesses like grocery stores and airlines are changing their policies and requiring all of their customers and passengers to wear them.

At this point, the cardinal rule of “better being safe than sorry” stands, and the official stance from the CDC is you should be wearing a mask. If you’re leaving your house to visit an area you know will be populated with other people, like grocery stores and airplanes, putting on a face mask adds a level of protection for you and the people around you, whether you’re sneezing and coughing or not.

And if you really do have those symptoms, even if you know they’re allergies, wearing a mask in the unfortunate event you do sneeze or cough in public, those around you will feel much safer seeing you wear protection, instead of sniffling away with a handkerchief in your pocket.

Wearing a face mask is slowly, but surely, becoming our new reality. Turning to your old pile of clothes and making chic masks should be everyone’s first go-to. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s good for our planet. What more can you ask for?

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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