BUSINESSES selling reusable face-masks have been swamped with requests, as people search for an environmentally friendly and fashionable way to stay protected.
Paw Po in Nhill, an initiative of the Nhill Learning Centre, has started selling face masks designed by its Karen workers and using Karen fabric.
Store co-coordinator Tracey Deckert said demand for the masks had skyrocketed.
She said new orders would likely face a delay of several days, as they try to keep up with demand.
In Halls Gap, Dot and Frankie has ordered in face masks handcrafted by designers in Pomonal and Melbourne.
Dot and Frankie's Carly Flecknoe said using off-cuts of fabric from designers provided an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable masks.
"We initially (looked into it) out of a gut instinct that it might be something that is needed through the community, and we've had a really, really great response from people," she said.
"We focus on ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly products, and I knew we had an opportunity to use recyclable and off-cut fabrics.
"It fits really well with what we do and provides something people are after."
She said the masks would be available online and in store from Saturday, July 25.
- Residents from Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village stay social amid COVID-19 pandemic
- Junior training cancelled due to COVID-19 case
- St Brigid's closed on Wednesday after student tests positive
- South Australian police clarify procedure for crossing border
- Kaniva 'ropeable' after sheep art vandalised
- Man in custody after six-hour siege
Mrs Flecknoe said reusable masks gave people more choice about their appearance.
"I think people have a desire to wear something that doesn't necessarily make them look like they've just walked out of a hospital," she said.
"We're ensuring we've got children's masks as well, so parents can put them on their kids and they fit nicely."
Mrs Flecknoe said it was also important that people noted the health guidelines around reusable masks.
"Hopefully people know how to use a reusable mask well, so they can wash them at night, dry them and use it again the next day," she said.
"You shouldn't actually wear a reusable mask two days in a row if it hasn't been cleaned.
"My greatest drive is just to make sure we've got them in our area - we're quite lucky in the Nothern Grampians shire that there aren't any active cases. But as we know, that can change very quickly, so it's all about being prepared."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.