Let's face it* -- we are all going to be wearing masks for quite some time, so why not make a local collection part of your wardrobe? As you’ll see below, there is certainly no shortage of Manitoba makers who are sewing some seriously stylish masks, meaning you can find colourful, comfortable and quality products all while supporting local entrepreneurs.
Keep on reading, we’ve got you covered!
Less than 1 lb. of waste is produced for every 100 masks made by a.ko life, so you can feel good about ordering these small-batch, minimally-designed Manitoba masks. Better yet, they'll accept your ear to nose measurements ensuring each mask is a great fit (especially if you’re looking for a fine fit for your kids’ faces.) Masks also come with complimentary silicon toggles for additional adjusting.
This Exchange District boutique fashion house is well-known for producing high-quality, uniquely designed women's clothing, and now it's making masks as well. Prints vary depending on fabric availability and masks are in high demand, so the store asks that whatever mask colour and print you receive, please love it all the same. Each mask has an interior pouch for filter inserts and is made of soft cotton.
This custom print shop in Garden City Shopping Centre offers customized masks (simply email them a photo of what you’d like printed) as well as black masks featuring a Winnipeg skyline, of which a portion of proceeds from each sale is donated to Winnipeg Harvest. Shop these through the store’s website or pick one up at The Locals Winnipeg pop-up located in the front of TableSpace Coworking on Osborne St.
As seen on multiple Ace Burpee Show social feeds, photographer Carla Dyck’s masks feature iconic Winnipeg spots including the Esplanade Riel, Portage Avenue, Nutty Club, and the Winnipeg sign. The cotton sateen face coverings are silky soft and printed with permanent reactive inks so they won’t fade even after a number of washes. They feature a stainless steel nose piece to ensure a tight fit and soft fabric elastic that can be adjusted to fit your head shape.
Anne Mulaire is an inspired award-winning Canadian fashion designer of French-Métis descent. She has donated more than 1200 of her bamboo knit cotton masks to communities and facilities in need. They are available in both kids' and adult sizes and feature an array of patterns, including a zero-waste patchwork fabric one that is effortlessly chic.
The well-loved men’s clothing manufacturer is currently making made-to-order masks out of its 4th floor studio space at 290 McDermot Avenue (where studio mates Wilder Goods has also been dabbling in face masks). Just like its button-downs, these masks are form-fitting and created using high-quality fabrics made to last. Made with bendable copper wire to contour to your nose and two elastics which wrap around the back of the neck and head. One size fits most.
If it’s funky, colourful masks you’re after, look no further than local jewellery designers and manufacturers dconstruct, who have added handmade masks by @nailsthankyou to both its online shop and at The Forks Market. Colourful mask chains (in 9+ colours!) are also available, so you never have to worry about losing your mask again.
For even more colourful designs and fun patterns, consider Riley Grae, whose masks are designed and handmade by Lauren (the daughter of the mother-daughter duo who opened the brick and mortar shop on Corydon in 2019). Masks are available to order online in both adult and kid's sizes. Lauren is also taking limited custom orders – simply let her know your preferred colour(s), patterns, designs, and tie up type for your mask.
This trendy handmade scrunchies shop has added masks to its roster and they’re already just as popular (as proven in this Chatelaine.com article in which they’re featured)! The company uses quality organic cotton and bamboo for its products, and 10 per cent of net proceeds are donated to CancerCare Manitoba with women’s initiatives. If you really want to make a statement, match a patterned Zenchies scrunchie to your mask.
The Cutting Edge is a social enterprise program of the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute that provides a platform for newcomer women to launch their careers as sewing machine operators in Winnipeg. Shopping these masks through LITE Box allows you to buy a mask for yourself while donating a mask to a Winnipeg community organization, an initiative that aims to deliver 500 masks to community organizations providing front-line services to people who are under-housed and/or homeless.
Coming soon to Bannatyne Avenue is Exchange PPE, an Indigenous-owned store selling personal protective equipment. Along with face masks and gel hand sanitizer, the store will sell equipment like portable hand-washing stations, foggers and air filtration systems. Items will also be available in bulk.
After ordering yourself a mask (or three), you might also end up requiring a mask strain reliever, depending on how long and how frequently you’ll be wearing your PPE. Gordon 3D Printing is producing WRHA approved strain relievers, printed in PETG filament with no ridges or raised edges, making them easy and safe to sterilize. You can get in touch with the company via Facebook. The company is currently providing these strain relievers free of charge for anyone who needs them.
Additional local mask makers we love:
*Pun intended. As regular readers will note, we have a nose for these things.