I am used to responding to trends and taking the business in new directions but I couldn’t have anticipated that face-coverings would become THE fashion accessory of the year – who could?!
2020 has been a year of huge change for many businesses, ours included, as we have adapted first of all to a complete lockdown and now the ‘new normal’. We have been fortunate that we have been able to work from home and to socially distance in our factory so we were only closed for business at the height of the ‘Stay At Home’ message. I have been sewing at home on my own machine, often on the kitchen table, as well as running the business almost single handed without the usual members of staff…. just look how empty the car park was!
Empty car park...full of ideas
When the announcement came in for lockdown on the 23rd March, like everyone else we had to pause for a while, but it has been a time to focus really carefully on our collections and make new plans! Thank goodness we are British manufacturers as we’ve been able to respond really quickly to all the changes brought about by the pandemic, not least with the introduction of a range of entirely new products, one of which is, of course, the face mask.
I wanted to design and make a mask that was practical but also made from some of the lovely fabrics we use in our factory. Many are from our Revival recycled cotton collection, which were specially made for us in India from shredded scraps of T-shirt material – by-products of the fast fashion industry. Others have been used as accent colours or sometimes linings.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Helen Moore collection without a little faux fur so we've created a soft Leopard print version too.
Sales of the masks have been fantastic and customers soon began asking us for new colours and styles. I discovered some lovely cotton poplin fabrics and I thought they were so pretty when we made them up as masks! So, these are now available on the website, along with a smart Houndstooth check fabric.
As with all things, the creation of the new collection got us thinking about what else could be made. Now that the face mask is a fashion accessory it seemed only natural to team it with a mini bag - perfect for storing your hand sanitiser or a spare mask! Following on from this we created matching collars - add them to a simple black T-shirt for a whole new look.
So what's next? We've just added men's face coverings to our website - they're extra-large with elastic that can be cut to a comfortable size and they're perfect if you have a beard!
This is how many of our ideas come about. We love listening to what you need, so that we can create different styles or designs – if you have something in mind, just get in touch, and we’ll see what we can do!
Collaboration -The Hygiene Bank
If you've subscribed to our emails you may already recognise the work of The Hygiene Bank.
I wanted to work alongside a charity whose aims are really important to me...
From the sale of each mask, we are donating 50p to The Hygiene Bank. This amazing charity has a network of projects to give people living in poverty the basics they need to keep clean. Essentially this is about dignity, self-confidence, employability and social interaction.
Supporting The Hygiene Bank is a simple way to support hundreds of grassroots initiatives across the UK and Ireland tackling a wide range of issues from poverty to domestic abuse and disability.
Find out more about the charity and their projects on the website
By choosing to buy a washable Helen Moore face covering you are choosing to cut down on waste caused by disposable face coverings, but you're also buying something that is well made and designed to last.
The same is true of our faux fur collection. We're a slow fashion brand and our faux fur is 100% fake, cruelty-free and can be worn for years to come.
Take a look at our new website for more face mask designs and of course our complete faux fur collection.
It’s only a few weeks until the launch of AW2020…I’m really looking forward to showing it to you all!
Very best wishes