The Upcycle Project, a Miami-based nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the fashion industry’s impact on people and the planet, has turned its efforts to face masks.
In early March, the Upcycle Project received a donation of more than 7,000 new 100 percent heavy cotton T-shirts that were incorrectly printed. Due to the COVID-19 quarantine, the shirts could not be shipped to the recycling centers so instead are being used for masks.
Gabriella Smith, founder and chief executive officer of Upcycle Project, is recruiting local seamstresses who recently lost their jobs to make the masks, providing then with an income during this time.
The Upcycle Foundation is delivering all materials needed to their home to make the masks so that the materials do not get exposed through heavy transportation.
So far, the Upcycle Project has made 120 masks and has enough materials to make 1,200 masks. The masks can be purchased directly on their web site, Upcyclefoundation.com, for $7, where all the proceeds are directly paid to the makers. The Upcycle masks can’t be used to treat COVID-19 patients, but are designed to substitute or be an addition to those looking for daily protection.
The Upcycle Project encourages creatives, designers and students to rethink the waste created by the fashion industry through reusing or “upcycling” textiles and garments that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.