In Tagum City, Banana Fiber Couture Face Masks Fashioned by PDLs
Kenneth Mheil Mangaya- Ay | May 05, 2020
More and more people choose to wear a mask in public spaces: this will become the new normal as we learn to live with the coronavirus. Because of the lack of its availability, experts have warned that medical-grade masks must be reserved for health workers working in the frontlines. As such, non-medical masks – such as cloth or silk masks – have surged in popularity. Celebrities and fashion brands have been creating ready-made non-medical face masks that you can wear conveniently. In fact, non-medical face masks are now becoming something of a fashion statement.
For instance, in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Joy Soo, a fashion designer, made facial masks that women can use as their newest fashion statement. “While we are all in quarantine, we all need to wear a mask instead of lipstick when we go out,” shared Joy. This is not your ordinary fabric face mask, however. The main material of the face mask is MUSA Fabric with satin silk inner lining and filter. MUSA is derived from the scientific name of the banana, where the fibers from the fruit's peel are woven together to create the textile. “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,” Joy shares.
The MUSA face masks can be bought for only P200 that will surely be the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Face masks are perfect for mothers especially they’re the ones who go out to do the groceries and some are also working moms. It will add to their beauty since most moms will surely not prioritize wearing make-up and lipstick. Joy adds, “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.”
Making of these masks and washable bags instead of clothes made of MUSA Fabric is the alternative way of Joy in order to sustain the livelihood project since fashion events are canceled this year to ensure safety while the battle against coronavirus is still on-going. Designs are available on The MUSA Fabrics Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Joy continues to pray for her colleagues in the industry and looks forward to the day where lights will be turned on to the catwalk, “I salute you for your immense contribution to our society in this time of a global pandemic. You have battled all the sleepless nights in making PPEs for our frontliners. We might not be in the limelight this time of the year but we have surely made a difference!”