It's all about keeping clean in these pandemic times, but there's no reason why we can't stay green while we're about it. Now that masks and hand sanitisers are part of our daily arsenal (and will be for a long while), it's a great time to invest in some eco-options.
Reusable masks are already a green step ahead of disposable ones, but there're some savvy brands breathing new life into old scraps the zero-waste way.
Meanwhile, sanitisers tend to come in handy, yet unsustainable, single-use plastic bottles - but some companies are changing the game with refills and recycled packaging. Here's where to shop with a clean conscience.
Looking for a suitably glam mask to match your gown? Bridal label Style Lease has a stunning range of satin face candy, sustainably crafted from gown pattern offcuts.
Strut your stuff with their doubled satin masks ($25) in shimmering jewel tones, from ruby to blush quartz to sapphire.
A hidden pocket in each mask allows you to insert a protective PM2.5 carbon filter, also available for ordering ($5 for a pack of 10). Best of all, you'll be doing good in style - 20 per cent of proceeds go towards the Migrant Workers' Center.
Shop Style Lease's masks here.
CYC Made To Measure
When crisis hit our nation, local heritage tailor CYC rose to the challenge in zero-waste style. This 85-year-old company dug into its huge stash of high-quality Egyptian cotton, leftover from the creation of their tailored shirts, and got to work.
From these waste scraps came face masks ($20 each) in playful prints like Mangrove Forest, Concrete Jungle, and even Kopitiam Chair. For those who need to keep it professional, check out the solid-hued masks in pastels and monochromes.
Shop CYC's masks here.
Masks spun from lotus flower stems may sound like the stuff of fairytales, but it's a sustainable reality at Australia-based label Acala Stem. Known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, the lotus flowers are harvested wild and woven in a process which requires no electricity, oil, or gas.
Each resulting Lotus Microfibre Face Covering ($47.48++) is silky and naturally breathable, ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Shop Acala Stem's masks here.
In a world of fast fashion, Elizabeth Little is a throwback to slower living. Drawing on heritage Liberty prints, Egyptian cotton offcuts, and handcrafted techniques, this boutique has fashioned a range of masks in vibrant floral motifs ($18++).
Lightweight yet hardy, each mask comes with a filter insert compartment and even a removable nose bridge wire for comfort.
Shop Elizabeth Little's masks here.
As its name suggests, La Tierra is all about giving back to the earth. This Singapore-based social enterprise collaborates with makers from marginalised families, using natural dyes and organic waste materials to create their masks.
In turn, proceeds from mask sales go towards helping migrant workers and children from disadvantaged families, in an unbroken cycle of giving. With Peranakan prints and other traditional patterns here ($18++ each), you're sure to find something to style up your outfit.
Shop La Tierra's masks here.
Famed for its vegan leather gowns and pants, Jo Kilda is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of green fashion. In these pandemic times, the Singapore-based label has come up with silk masks, made with scraps repurposed from founder Jyoti Singh's fabric archives.
Lined with satin silk, the Raw Silk Masks ($58 each) are gentle on the skin and come with complimentary disposable filters. To bling up your look a bit, look no further than the fabulous, limited-edition Black Sequin Satin Silk Mask ($45).
Shop Jo Kilda's masks here.
Eco-friendly hand sanitisers
This Singaporean beauty brand cooks up their own vegan products right out of their Lavender Street kitchen, using wild-harvested herbs and essential oils.
Their Purifying Hand Sanitiser ($8.50) is an oasis for dry skin, featuring organic aloe vera to moisturise your hands and wrists.
To cut down on single-use plastic packaging, Oasis:skin offers bulk options too - simply head down to their store with your own containers to fuel up on sanitiser sustainably.
Shop Oasis:skin's hand sanitiser here.
Go clean and green with TreeWear's hand sanitisers, crafted with all-natural ingredients and bottled in eco-sensitive recycled packaging. These blends aren't just good for health and the earth, but for your mind as well - thanks to a hefty dose of essential oils.
Get a soothing whiff of lavender and cedarwood with the Calming Blend, or perk up your spirits with the zesty Energizing Blend.
And really, what's more inspiring than knowing that purchase of each bottle contributes to tree-planting projects in India?
Shop TreeWear's hand sanitisers here.
SimplyGood's food-grade sanitisers are a two-in-one powerhouse - they're designed to fight nasties on both your hands and food contact surfaces (think dining tables and utensils).
Their formula is free of potentially toxic ingredients like sulphates and parabens, and comes in refill packs of up to five litres ($27++). This means reduced single-use plastic waste - and much more pocket-friendly prices.
Shop SimplyGood's sanitisers here.
A soapmaker giant hailing from America, Dr Bronner's is known for their cruelty-free, earth-friendly ethos. Their products are packed in post-consumer PET bottles - a plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling that enables landfill space to be saved.
Get your hands minty fresh with their Peppermint Organic Hand Sanitiser, featuring organic fair-trade peppermint oil.
Shop Dr Bronner's hand sanitisers here.
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This article was first published in City Nomads.