L.A. Companies Make Face Masks Using Sustainable Practices
Tour Image dba UStrive received a Global Organic Textile Standard certification in November, which gave the Los Angeles–area factory one of the highest ranks in sustainable manufacturing.
However, when UStrive got procurement contracts to make face masks from Kaiser Permanente and the State of California in late March, the factory had never made organic face coverings, said Scott Wilson, the business’s president.
“At first it was hurry up and make masks,” Wilson said. “But as soon as we got into production, we wanted to create a better organic mask for the planet and for your face.”
The first delivery of organic face masks was shipped this week to UStrive’s partners, including Kaiser Permanente, the State of California and the communications company Spectrum. The general-use masks are given to nonmedical staff at Kaiser Permanente as well as to Spectrum employees and state workers. The organic masks will not be made available for wholesale. Since late March, UStrive has manufactured 1.1 million masks. From late April and into the future, UStrive will only make organic face masks.
UStrive’s reusable two-ply masks feature a woven outer layer made out of a poplin fabric, and a cotton jersey is used for the inner layer. It also features non-latex elastic or cotton/spandex straps. The masks feature a black color made from organic dyes. UStrive’s general-use masks are machine washable and can be used multiple times.
On April 27, Los Angeles–based Texollini introduced a T19 protective mask, which is designed, knitted, dyed, sewn and packaged locally using ethical and sustainable methods, said Sherry Wood, Texollini’s director of merchandising. The company’s vertical mill adheres to more-sustainable practices, while knitting and dyeing machines use less energy and water-soluble formulas.
The mask is made out of neoprene-style fabric, Wood said, and its design covers more of the face compared to other masks. It also features an antimicrobial Bac-Shield finish to prevent odors. The T19 comes in several prints and is machine washable and reusable. The company is selling masks through www.T19mask.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross.