As a mother of two elementary school children, I’ve found it harder than I thought to find kids’ face masks that I approve of and that my kids will wear. The masks are either too big or too small, too loose or too tight, too thick and heavy, or too lightweight and too frail. When the pandemic started, I just bought whatever I could, and ended up with a variety of not-so-great options. Combine this with two active kids who didn’t particularly want to wear stuff on their face anyways, and you had one frustrated mom. Dealing with the pandemic was stressful enough, so I didn’t want mask-wearing to create any more anxiety and fear in my children than possible.
Lightweight disposable masks quickly fall apart and then go straight to littering the streets or polluting the oceans, certainly not ideal. Plus they are made with synthetic materials and plastics which could contain VOCs, BPA, BPB, PCBs, and phthalates, all things I don’t want my kids exposed to. Even regular cotton face masks made me nervous, since non-organic cotton is made with many pesticides and other chemicals, which my kids would be breathing in for many hours during the day.
And I wanted to make sure that the factory workers making the masks themselves were doing so under safe conditions. The workers shouldn’t have to be unnecessarily exposed to covid just to produce the masks to keep me and my family healthy. Like many people, I was surprised to learn that the “Made in the USA” label does not necessarily mean the clothing item was produced in a factory operating under safe conditions. There are numerous examples of fly-by-night “fast fashion” sweatshops – operating within the U.S. – that have a documented history of terrible labor conditions, covid exposure, and worker exploitation. That’s why Mightly has chosen to work with a Fair Trade Certified factory because of the oversight provided by and partnership with the nonprofit organization Fair Trade USA.)
Any mask that I bought for my children was also going to have to be comfortable and fun. When they go back to school, my two kids will be required to wear masks for many hours a day. (According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, masks not only prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the vast majority of children can safely wear masks for an extended period of time.) Finally, given how fast my kids lose clothing items, I needed to buy a bunch of masks now -- and probably every month forward for the foreseeable future – without breaking the bank.
So along with my fellow mompreneurs, we decided to make our own. Mightly’s new collection of kids’ face masks will debut in October 2020. When we designed and produced these kids’ cotton face masks for children ages 2 to 12, we made sure to keep the following principles in mind:
- Mightly’s face masks are made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, without any pesticides, not to mention dioxins, aluminum, polyethylene, parabens, flame retardants, or other common hazardous ingredients.
- Mightly’s face masks are dyed using non-toxic dyes and printed with plastisol-free inks.
- Mightly’s face masks have three layers of 100% organic cotton, for more filtering ability and as recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
- Mightly’s tagless face masks are made of incredibly soft cotton, so that kids’ tender faces will not be roughened with hours of exposure or annoyed by an itchy tag.
- Mightly’s children’s face masks are adjustable and designed to fit a variety of children’s face sizes ages 2 to 12. They are secured with soft fabric ties that are fully adjustable, without any need for elastic. This makes it easy for kids with little fingers to put the masks on and off comfortably and independently, with confidence.
- Mightly’s face masks are machine washable, so that you can use them over and over again. (Note: If you are unsure what laundry detergent is best to use on something so sensitive as a face mask, we at Mightly love Grove Collective, which makes it easier to find home essentials like eco-friendly cleaning supplies.)
- Mightly’s face masks completely cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of your face without any gaps.
- Mightly’s face masks are made in a Fair Trade Certified factory. This means that the factory must adhere to strict labor conditions, including covid prevention protocols, and that Mightly pays a Fair Trade Premium for each mask that goes directly back to the factory workers to spend as they see fit.
- Mightly’s children’s face masks come in sets of 5 in a variety of colors and are priced at just $24.95 for the set, which comes out to be under $5 per mask.
Like all Mightly products, we made the kind of face masks that we want for our own kids! But don’t take it just from me. Here’s what my eight-year-old says about these masks:
“The Mightly masks are my favorite! And I'm not saying that because you're my mom. They fit just right around my ears, not like the other annoying ones. They don't fall down and they don't make me feel like I can't breath! I still wish we didn't have to wear masks, but since we do I'm glad you made these."
Note: According to the Center for Disease Control, face masks are not appropriate for children under the age of 2 or anyone who has difficulty breathing. Mightly’s face masks are not intended to be used in a healthcare setting or to prevent wildfire smoke inhalation.