Masks For Extraordinary People is a non-profit volunteer organisation in SE London making fabulous funky face masks, from home, for people whose lives have become extraordinarily challenging.
From one sewing machine on 8th April 2020, MFEP grew to around 100 volunteers, sewing, cutting, cycling and driving who have made, donated and delivered well over 30,000 facemasks to bus drivers, food banks, hostels, refuges, schools, hospices and local community groups, helping people from all walks of life feel safer and uplifted.
When we started, each mask was uniquely made from recycled materials such as bed sheets, duvet covers, t-shirts and all sorts of beautiful printed fabrics, generously donated or sourced locally. After extensive wearing, testing and reading around the issue we now produce 3-layer cotton masks which offer good levels of filtering and comfort, with soft cotton ties that can be tied around the back of the head in a number of ways, relieving pressure on the ears. They're washable, reusable, environmentally friendly, protective and, dare it be said, desirable fashion accessories.
Founded during the first weeks of lockdown by Corinne McManus, who ordinarily runs her fashion print company, Atom Designs, selling unique artwork for fashion and sports companies worldwide, along with her life-partner Ben Roberts, a photographer, they started with enough unique printed fabric swatches in a huge range of different styles to make the first 1500 masks before needing to find different fabrics.
We use bright bold printed fabrics because they're fun, add a bit of style, are less intimidating as well as lifting the spirits of those they meet.
More recently we joined forces with our friends at Every Doctor, all purchases of our masks through their site helps fund EveryDoctor's work to speak out for doctors, support medical staff working hard to protect patients, and ensure the NHS has the resources it needs.
We continue to sell masks (and now bags!) to support our sewists working from home, with any profits made going to local charities.