Wearing a mask to go grocery shopping or heading out into the world is becoming more common, but the masks themselves aren’t getting any more comfortable.
So, when Lorie Tokola heard about a simple little gadget that makes masks less cumbersome, she set out to fill a need. The item itself is simple: a strip of knit material with a button sewn onto each end that the mask’s elastics can be looped into, sparing the need to loop them over your ears.
Tokola said she isn’t much of a knitter herself, so instead she organized a team on Facebook to mass produce the little “mask mates” and get them out into the community.
She quickly put together a team that now includes more than 400 people, who are helping to produce and deliver the mask mates to everyday residents and health-care workers who wear masks for prolonged periods.
Since she began organizing in mid-April, more than 5,600 mask mates have been stitched together and shipped out. With demand growing steadily, the only problem Tokola faces now is sourcing enough buttons.
She said people from their mask making group have been raiding their grandmother’s stash of old buttons, while others have been using their 3D printers to produce their own.
Tokola is always looking to add new members to her group, so whether you’re a master knitter or just have a stash of old buttons you can donate, you can get involved by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.