The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented upheaval in the fashion industry, but some Australian creatives are meeting said upheaval and raising it one by producing some of their best (and most unique) work to date.
While many retail businesses have been forced to close due to social distancing and isolation guidelines laid out by the government, that hasn't necessarily meant the work has stopped.
The answer? Only the very accessory you're likely seeing just about everywhere, and for a good reason: Face masks.
Medical professionals have donned the face garment for years now as an additional protective barrier against the transmission of germs.
Understandably, face masks have been front and centre as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread (albeit at a slower rate currently) around the community.
At this point, the Australian government has not advised mandatory wearing of masks for residents (provided they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19), however, many are doing it voluntarily.
There is much debate as to the effectiveness of a face mask, and it's important to note that face masks do not necessarily stop you from getting the virus, nor from spreading it onto others.
That said, there are certainly some benefits to wearing a face mask.
If fitted correctly, the mask creates a physical barrier between your mouth and your immediate environment, which can protect against large droplets spreading from other people around you.
And psychologically, wearing a mask can subconsciously help you remember not to touch your face, which is a known way to fast track the virus' spread.
For this reason, many people are choosing to wear a mask of their own accord - and much like the toilet paper debacle, they're selling out like hot cakes.
Herein lies the problem - first and foremost, doctors, nurses, carers, the elderly and the vulnerable should have easy access to masks, right now more than ever.
So to help the production, some Australian fashion designers have utilised their own skills and assets to chip in - in more ways than one.
Below, we take a look at some of the unique ways fashion brands are creating quirky mask designs that are also helping to make a difference.
So, if you're looking to buy a mask, whether it's for your own peace of mind or as a way to give back, the below options are a great place to start.
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