Off-White’s logo face mask was one of the most coveted items this year, but the creative mind behind the streetwear powerhouse is seeking ways to turn clout into charity.
Off-White founder Virgil Abloh and Los Angeles-based sustainable sewing and production shop Suay are joining efforts to give back to the medical community. Abloh and Suay co-designed and developed a new hand-washable face mask. All proceeds from the sale of this mask will be directed to support Covid-19-related research at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens.
True to Suay’s mission to promote the “clean up economy,” the production process for the reusable masks was executed with a sustainability-minded focus. Suay creates products in-house with one goal in mind: to eliminate the fashion industry’s waste. This is particularly important as disposable face masks stands the risk of contributing to this waste.
The contoured mask—constructed for high filtration and breathability—has also been tested by the clinic. The non-woven surgical wrap material is fully encased in a bias-cut Japanese power mesh. Cleveland Clinic worked with an outside lab to evaluate the masks’ material and degree of breathability. Testing showed that the breathability and particle filtration performed with high efficacy, even after 20 washes.
The masks feature neon contrast-hued binding, one of Abloh’s signature flourishes, on top of adjustable ear loops. Blue and green options are available.
“In the grand scheme of things, projects like these are when fashion is the most important,” the designer stated in a press release.
The masks are available online now on Canary Yellow, Abloh’s online art and design store, and retail for $42.
Off-White has also made a monetary donation to the center and launched a limited-edition T-shirt that reads “I Support Our HealthCare Heroes” that has been donated to the Cleveland Clinic’s staff. The tee is intended to be a keepsake and symbolic item.
“Thanks to Virgil Abloh and Suay for their creativity and support,” said Lara Kalafatis, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Philanthropy Institute. “We are grateful for their commitment to helping us meet a critical need as we navigate this global health crisis.”