Dezeen Magazine

Burberry face masks are made of plaid cotton

Burberry releases face mask with signature check pattern on antimicrobial fabric

British fashion brand Burberry has designed a face mask for the coronavirus pandemic made from fabric treated with "antimicrobial technology".

The cotton face masks are available in blue or beige versions of Burberry's vintage plaid pattern.

Burberry face masks are made of plaid cotton

Designed to cover the mouth and nose, in compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, the gently curved mask rises up over the nose bridge and swoops down around the cheeks.

Double-stitched elements add definition to the face covering, which attaches around the ears with black elastic loops.

Burberry said the cotton fabric of the mask and the matching pouch it comes with has been treated with "antimicrobial technology". Antimicrobial surfaces are impregnated with an element that inhibits the growth of bacteria and mould, typically metallic ions such as silver or copper.

Dezeen has reached out to Burberry to confirm what kind of antimicrobial material is used for these particular masks.

Burberry face masks are made of plaid cotton

As coronavirus is a viral disease, rather than bacterial, the antimicrobial technology won't add protection from the pandemic – but it will keep the reusable face mask fresher and more hygienic, which is beneficial for an accessory worn over the moist environments of the mouth and nose.

When wearing non-medical fabric masks, the WHO advises cleaning your hands before putting on and removing the mask and washing the mask in between uses.

Fabric masks can help reduce the spread of particles released by breathing and talking. Increasing scientific evidence, acknowledged by the WHO, suggests that the coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person via airborne particles, not just by coughing or sneezing.

Many countries have introduced rules about wearing face coverings in public spaces while social distancing.

Burberry face masks are made of plaid cotton

Burberry will donate 20 per cent of the profits from its face masks to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund, a charity that donates Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to food banks and healthcare charities.

The fashion brand also claimed that its masks are sustainable as they are made from what Burberry described as "revalued" fabric, suggesting they could be made from leftover fabric from pattern cutting or deadstock fabric that could have otherwise gone to waste.

Burberry was heavily criticised in 2018 when it came to light that the company was incinerating tens of millions of pounds worth of unsold products so that they wouldn't be discounted or stolen and resold at a lower price.

The brand said it will release more fabric options for the Burberry face mask come autumn.

As face coverings become mandatory in certain situations designers have been creating coverings that are attractive as well as practical. Jewellery designer Saskia Diez is offering a mask that comes attached to a necklace-style chain, and Petit Pli is making masks that can be worn around the neck like a collar.

Adidas was one of the first major brands to release its own reusable face mask, a turnaround time that its designers told Dezeen was one of fastest ever for the sportswear company.