Post-corona fashion, the MUSA mask // photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

As the Global Pandemic continues and has affected our daily lives – being quarantined and stuck home for a while, many businesses were also affected. One of those affected is the ones working in the Fashion Industry, and to cope with the current situation and attain sustainability; one fashion designer decided to make face masks out of the banana fiber – the MUSA face masks. Clever and sustainable, I like it. 

photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

People now have to wear masks when going out in public. It has become the new norm as we adjust and try to continue to live with the coronavirus.  The availability of medical-grade masks is limited and reserved for health workers and those working as front liners. This resulted in many fashion brands creating ready-made non-medical face masks that one can wear conveniently. And these ready-made face masks have even become something of a fashion statement. 

photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

In Tagum City, Davao del Norte, fashion designer Joy Soo made face masks that women can use as part of their fashion statement. According to Soo, “While we’re all in quarantine, we all need to wear a mask instead of lipstick when we go out”. 

still fashionable even when wearing the mask // photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

The mask she’s created is not just like your ordinary mask – the main material used for the face mask is MUSA fiber with satin silk inner lining and filter. MUSA is from the scientific name of the banana (Musa acuminata), it’s one of the strongest natural fibers. The biodegradable natural fiber comes from the bark of the banana plant and is so durable. 

Joy Soo added, “This is the output of the MUSA Advocacy Project which is anchored on one significant purpose which is to help persons deprived of liberty in 3 jail institutions in Davao Region”. 

even guys can wear the MUSA mask too // photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

You guys can buy the MUSA face masks for only Php 200 and it will be a great gift to give your mother, aunt, lola, and friends. Plus knowing you help sustain the livelihood of our sisters who are in need, in jail. The fashionable face masks are ideal for moms especially when they go out to buy the groceries or for those working moms. 

wear the MUSA mask to work // photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

The MUSA mask will glam you up in an instant since most moms will not be prioritizing wearing make-up and lipstick. Soo added, “PDLs will benefit from the sold face masks since the weaving of this fabric is their source of livelihood. Considering that these prisoners are locked down behind bars for so many years, it is a big help for them if this project will flourish in the fashion industry. Most of the weavers are sentenced for life and if not for this endeavor, they can no longer provide for their families.”

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The creation of these masks and washable bags made of MUSA fabric is the alternative way that Joy came up with in order to sustain the livelihood project since fashion events are canceled this year. You may check on different designs available on their Facebook Page – The MUSA Fabric 

photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

The MUSA Fabric is anchored on the advocacy of producing artistic tribal vogue made of banana fiber behind bars and in the native homes of indigenous women in Davao Del Norte. 

Joy Soo is praying for her colleagues in the fashion industry and is looking forward to the day the lights on the catwalk will be turned back on. She said, “I salute you for your immense contribution to our society in this time of the global pandemic. You have battled sleepless nights in making PPEs for our front liners. We might not be in the limelight this time of the year but we have surely made a difference.”

hand-painted MUSA masks // photo source: The MUSA Fabric Facebook page

I do hope many will help and support the MUSA Fabric’s face mask project. You will be wearing something stylish and would prevent you from having the rona, plus you’ll be helping out the women who handcrafted and weaved them from scratch. Small businesses and local brands are always going to be grateful for your support. Stay safe! ❤︎

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