Artisanal little luxuries, with big impact

We believe an object can elevate both beholder and maker. In a world of mass-produced goods, we offer artisan-made home and apparel crafted in fair-trade environments from around the globe. We strive to live fully, slow down to enjoy life’s little luxuries, and choose everyday to create a world connecting maker, owner and earth.

December 10, 2020 4 min read

DECEMBER 11, 2020

Circular Fashion & Your Face Masks, An
Upcycled Solution

Meet our newest initiative - our upcycled face masks! Part of our first-ever Canadian-made collection.

Circular Fashion Meets a Sustainable Poko

For those new to the term, circular fashion is akin to the idea of a zero-waste lifestyle. Its purpose is to eliminate waste and pollution in the textile industry by keeping fabrics in circulation for as long as possible. This can be done by re-using products, or in our case, upcycling materials!


Does Your Mask Have a Story?

It’s Monday morning. You’re running out the door.

 

Coffee in hand? Phone, wallet… keys? Check.

 

You turn to leave when - aha! Your mask! Can’t forget that.

 

Oh, 2020 - how times have changed.

 

But you know what hasn’t? Functionality. As much as our fashion choices often reflect a day and age, so do the purposeful garments we put on our bodies.

 

And in pandemic times, the face mask is undoubtedly themust-haveof every season!

So What Do Sustainability & Face Masks Have in Common?

We set out to create aface mask that reflected the climate-positive ideals Pokoloko is passionate about. A face mask that works for you, is great for the environment, and is made to last.

Your Mask At A Glance

  • Made by Canadian makers using upcycled fabrics
  • Double-layered: the outer layer is upcycled rayon from our kimonos, and the inside layer is 100% cotton
  • Available in two sizes: Medium + Large
  • Your choice of four colours to suit your fashion & lifestyle: Pink, Blue, Black and Grey Wash

 

This upcycled face covering is functional for Covid safety, however, it is not a medical-grade mask.


Our Design Considerations

  •    Our face masks are high quality, thick, and soft – a comfortable addition for the colder months because of their thickness, while still light for indoor spaces & warmer climates.
  •    Wire nose bridge is bendable - customizable for our unique nose shapes.
  •    Accordion sides allow for durability, while adaptable to our jaw/cheek variances.
  •    Ear elastics allow the mask to fit securely, without being too tight on your face
  •    Brand label printed on the outside with Poko's alpaca logo - because everyone loves a little alpaca in their life, right?
  •    For very small faces, the mask can be worn and fitted by knotting the elastic sides to meet the exact size you require.

Our Face Masks are Made from Upcycled Fabric

  • So how is it sustainable? These face coverings were made incorporating:

     

    Upcycling: made from upcycled rayon fabric originally intended for our best-selling kimonos. We were able to creatively re-use and transform an irregular product with artistry & the environment in mind.

     

    Circular Fashion: The materials we use to make our masks come from unused materials from our kimono collection. Rather than discarding the unused material, we are repurposing the rayon to give it new life!


How It All Came to Be… (a little behind the scenes of our process)

The journey of our face mask begins in the Pokoloko warehouse, in Gatineau, Quebec.

 

We received a shipment of kimonos with minor discrepancies that were labelled unsuitable for market. Cool. What do we do with boxes of stunning, artisanal fabric?

 

Our Pokoloko Director of Operations, Jocelyn Reeves (a true team heroine) became inspired!

 

She had the idea to upcycle the fabric to create face masks (she’s brilliant for many reasons). Unlike the national toilet paper supply- something we fear to befinite apparently- face masks are a resource we simply cannot run out of. And in that case, why not create a Pokoloko collection?

 

By creating a sustainable face mask, made from upcycled artisanally-crafted fabric, we are proud to support our local and global communities two-fold:


  1.    Avoid having our unused kimonos end up in a landfill
  •    (our slow-fashion mentality vs the unfortunate reality of many fast-fashion businesses)

 

  1.    Offering a product that helps maintain the health of our communities by supplying re-usable face masks made from reused fabric, a style of supply chain practice that is less harmful than that of using only new fabric.
  •    (We’re trying, David Suzuki & Greta!)

The Upcycled Design Timeline

The design process took about 3 months, with about 10 different rounds of sampling.

We scrutinized over the fit and function of the mask to ensure it’s final prototype aligned with our purpose, fashion & function.

 

Bonus: by sourcing the material from our very own warehouse, we were able to source a major portion of the materials for the product very locally!

“Fashion can be a universal player in protecting the planet.” - Pharrell Williams


As Unique As You - Which Mask Speaks to You?

One upcycled maskplants 2 trees, diverts textile waste from the landfill, and to top it all off, we think they’re gorgeous. Wallet, keys, mask. 


Written by Katelyn Wells, BA Media Production, Poko Blogger

Katelyn is a local freelance copywriter with a passion for the environment.She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she spends her mornings on the mat, youtube-ing how to avoid yoga injuries.