COVID-19 kindness: fashion face masks spread cheer

South Australian Fashion designer Mim Harvey with her colleagues (from left) Kate Wissell, Olivia Trim and Victoria Schubert are making and donating face masks for people working with members of the public. Picture: Emma Brasier/AAP

Ms Harvey, who is behind contemporary women’s wear Harvey the Label is making and donating much-needed face masks to those working directly with the public.

She and a group of about five others have been making masks daily to fill orders, which so far is about 500, and counting.

“Instead of sitting on my bum I thought, I’ve got a skill, and it keeps me from going insane, it keeps my mental health in check,” she says.

“Now is the time to do something charitable, something for the community, to give back.

“And busy hands eat less snacks, that’s my motto.”

Ms Harvey has spent about $1000 of her own money to buy the materials to make the masks, some of which has also been donated by her mum. She also has a GoFundMe page to raise money for materials.

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So far Ms Harvey and her crew have made masks for hospital workers in Adelaide, including the Royal Adelaide and Flinders, Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast, and local supermarket workers.

“They’re roughly 80 per cent effective, three-ply … it’s better than nothing,” Ms Harvey says.

“And a lot of medical staff have access to medical-grade filters, which they can insert into the mask, and makes them as effective as medical masks.”

While those working with members of the public can get a face mask for free – they only pay postage – anyone else wanting one can order them online for $15.

The proceeds of the sale then provide funds for Ms Harvey to donate four masks to those in need.

“We make them in really happy funny colours to cheer everyone up, the blue mask is a symbol for horrible times and if we can change that symbol, then we can make people feel better.”

Ms Harvey closed the doors on her shopfront business last month after a severe downturn in sales.

“I’m still running my online business but I get one or two orders a week if I’m lucky,” she says.

“It’s a crazy thing to be faced with, especially after being in business for five years and never having a $0 day.”

For details contact Ms Harvey via her Instagram page, harveyxseeker.

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