What we wear is undeniably a representation of our self-expression and Logan Square is always flourishing with fashion and creativity. And that’s not an exception when it comes to face masks.
The face mask has not only functioned as a means of “flattening the curve” to stop the spread of coronavirus but has also encouraged a new wave of Logan Square initiatives to spark creativity, support local businesses and show off your fashion, of course.
Here are three local mask initiatives happening in the neighborhood that blend protection, creativity, fashion and community support. Know of others? Let us know!
Supporting Local: Wolfbait & B-Girls
Since COVID-19 closed down their shop, Wolfbait & B-Girls started a promotion: a free mask with every $25 gift card purchase.
They’ve regularly partnered with I Grow Chicago and are currently packaging masks for their charity and ran a benefit last week for the Let Us Breathe Collective where 100% of mask sales and 10% of store sales went to purchasing new beekeeping equipment. Additionally, their newest promotion gives 100% of proceeds from the Batik Mask to Chicago Patchwork Farms.
“Masks are seemingly going to be a part of our ensembles for the foreseeable future, at least in big cities like Chicago,” said Shirley Kienitz of Wolfbait & B-Girls. “It shows respect for your community when you don a face covering, keeping everyone healthy while expressing your personal style or a political statement.”
The masks at Wolfbait & B-girls are from Fashion Fabric scraps and Up-cycled Tees and are all cotton with elastic straps that go around your head, Kienitz said.
“Even choosing cloth over disposable shows you value your environment and are taking responsibility for the impact you have on it,” she said. “Classic to Quirky, we have an array of options and are making more every day to offer our community an opportunity to find a little fun in this new fashion essential.”
Youth Creativity: Shop4Ties ‘Mask For Change Art Contest‘
Shop4Ties is a proud family-run, female-owned business in Logan Square that designs and manufactures custom ties, scarves, and Hawaiian shirts. They’ve launched a youth art mask contest where Kindergarten to eighth-grade students are welcome to enter with their anti-racist mask design.
Three prizes will be awarded: one winner will be selected from Kindergarten – 2nd grade, one winner will be selected from grades 3rd – 5th, and one winner will be selected from grades 6th – 8th. Winners will receive 250 custom masks featuring their own design to share with classmates and faculty.
Winners will be announced by Aug. 7, 2020. Masks will be delivered about four to six weeks after the winner accepts their prize.
Student Design: Blnk Haus Gallery
Rachael Lechocki, owner of Blnk Haus, teacher, and artist, chose to assign a mask design project for her students. She reflected on how art has the ability to help us reflect on contemporary events in meaningful ways and how the mask can now function as a canvas.
“It’s cool to get them thinking this is a part of our new norm… they’ve read articles on artists making masks and donating them as inspiration so it was really cool to see what they did,” Lechocki said. “I try to make a lot of the projects and content we do really relevant to what’s happening, like masks.”
Supporting a Local Social Justice Cause: Masks from Department of Curiosities
If you want to help a social justice nonprofit doing amazing work in Chicago, local design company Department of Curiosities is selling one mask for $40, but all proceeds benefit Brave Space Alliance, the first Black, trans-led LGBTQ+ resource organization on the South Side. Each mask is equipped with adjustable elastic straps, a flexible aluminum nose piece, black 100% cotton lining, and an interior pocket for additional filters. Buy yours here.
Many in our community have used the face mask as a creative canvas that doubles as a way to #FlattenTheCurve. How have you?
Share your handmade, fashionable, or creative masks by tagging @LoganSquarist on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!