Behind the mask of integrity....

Behind the mask of integrity....

The face mask.... debated around the world for months.... and that to me is precisely the problem, it was only debated, for too long!  

On day 1 of lockdown in Scotland, I got to work on contacting everyone I knew in the textiles industry, celebrities, and all of the Ministers for Scotland who were in a position to influence the immediate action of ensuring every single person in Scotland could have a mask.  

WHEN PEOPLE IGNORE YOU, IT CAN BREAK YOU, OR MAKE YOU FIGHT HARDER

They were all literally silent..... or said a mask would make the situation worse! Nobody was prepared to step up at that time, they all hid behind 'science' and did not use their common sense sadly.  After all, this virus comes from your nose and mouth.... not difficult to work it out.

I reached out to say there is an industry that can serve the community also, the community is as important as the frontline carers, after all this is where the virus was spreading.  But for the community this had to be a mask that carried a quality mark, after all this is a health crisis and not a fashion show.... This virus should not be giving birth to a new trend!  But politically the panic had set in, we simply were not prepared even for our frontline carers, there was no masks and by asking the public to wear one when they had no solution, it was covered up as not proven beneficial....  But we delivered a solution, it even was hand delivered to the door of the Minister of Health for Westminster, with no response whatsoever.

THREE MONTHS later and finally a positive response to not just my opinion but the solution I provided them with, it was a framework to share with every maker across the country.  It was a sustainable solution, natural fibre materials that could be recovered and repurposed.  We asked for the Government to consider subsidising this to ensure every single person received one, and not merely revert to a situation of where the wealthy stay healthy.  It would be a mask that gave a guaranteed particle filtration efficiency, it had passed face fit tests, it gave guidance to the users.  Therefore protected people and the planet at the same time. 

Alas, during these three months the only support our Government extended was for single use plastic masks and meanwhile the unregulated market was a free for all who wanted to created branded fashion products with no accountability whatsoever as long as they said 'this is not a medical device'

The time wasted is unforgivable, as this has no doubt cost lives.

ETHICS AND MORALS

So for three months I have lobbied, and during that time I was not prepared to 'sell' a single mask when I could not provide any health information, because it is a health product.  I did make over 1,000 masks during that time for free, using kilt lining cotton cloth, with nose pinch wires, an added filter insert pocket and adjustable straps.  These were sent to the far north of Scotland, a little island off Orkney to NHS staff commuting in London, all via UK Free Masks which I created in March.

We were contacted numerous times to sell masks, and I could not morally do this, but did give away as many free as I could.  It angered me that in this day and age a health product could be sold in such an unregulated manner.

INTEGRITY

So we do not do nothing, we volunteered, we lobbied and now we will show to all the integrity we never compromise on.

We will be testing our fabrics immediately with the help and support from science professionals in a Scottish laboratory.  We will refine the product design to give maximum protection, and we will announce our masks for all subscription service.  Where we will guarantee you a mask for life with a cradle to cradle promise.

It is now we go public on this, for too long we have been silent.

It has awakened and strengthened our material rebellion commitment and now given us the courage to challenge, to stand up and should we need to name names we will.

Why?  Because being silent is saying you agree.... please do not be silent on those things that pain you and keep you awake at night.  Because when you speak up you realise you are not alone.  Many voices can make change happen.

Clare x

To pre-order our Mask of Integrity, click here.

For businesses and organisations interested in joining the supply chain for the mask of integrity, we are looking to build our network of yarn producers, weavers, finishers and seamstresses, click here.


15 comments


  • Kathy Rosario

    Hi Clare….thank you for dealing with masks on a rebel level. The greed for money by mass producing worthless masks is appalling. Worse yet…here in the U.S. Republicans are disseminating lies saying masks cause illness. It is truly pathetic and politically disgusting. On a more positive note there is you and your company working day and night to do what is correct and save lives. I thank you!! Hopefully you will be shipping masks out because I will definitely be placing my order! Your hardwork is not going unnoticed. Take care and stay safe 😷❤
    Kathy in SoCal


  • Karen Eynon

    Thank you, as always, for standing up both for health and the environment! The mask issue is a political issue here in the USA and not a health issue. And I’m sure it is the same in many countries! I stand along with you!


  • Brita Bockelbrink

    Dear Clare, I didn´t know you had to fight like this for such an important project. I can understand that this makes you very angry. I can not judge anything about Scotland/UK how the goverment handle the crises. Here in Germany the most is going pretty well because the goverment do everything to support people, familys and smaller companies, with advice, information and money. We cannot say it is like before, but life get more and more a normal touch.
    But I am very sorry and I feel very bad that you have no support for your excellent ideas in this difficult time anyway. You are always in my thoughts beause your business is still so young and you were just getting foothold and than this massive, global crisis.
    You are strong and a big figther, go on with this fight.
    Stay safe, take care yours Brita


  • Brita Bockelbrink

    Dear Clare, I didn´t know you had to fight like this for such an important project. I can understand that this makes you very angry. I can not judge anything about Scotland/UK how the goverment handle the crises. Here in Germany the most is going pretty well because the goverment do everything to support people, familys and smaller companies, with advice, information and money. We cannot say it is like before, but life get more and more a normal touch.
    But I am very sorry and I feel very bad that you have no support for your excellent ideas in this difficult time anyway. You are always in my thoughts beause your business is still so young and you were just getting foothold and than this massive, global crisis.
    You are strong and a big figther, go on with this fight.
    Stay safe, take care yours Brita


  • Anne Papworth

    Thank you for your integrity and hard work to try and convince politicians to support your amazing initiative. If and when you feel able to sell your masks I will be buying some because I KNOW your mask will be the best that you can make it.

    Stay safe
    Stay strong
    Stay a rebel


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