We’ve all seen it–discarded single-use masks in parking lots and sidewalks. We all want to protect ourselves from the virus but can we do this while also protecting the planet?

Reusable cloth masks (which can be paired with HEPA type filters) are the best bet to protect people and the planet because they are washable, reusable, and, in certain collections, recyclable. How can you make the safest mask choice for both yourself and the planet?

–Choose masks made of natural and non-toxic fabrics like organically grown cotton, hemp, or silk that is also locally sourced so that the carbon footprint in producing and supplying them is lower. Some companies source only recycled or fair-trade materials.

–Choose masks that are undyed or colored with plant-based and/or non-toxic dyes

–Choose masks that are made from deadstock or remnant fabric to reduce waste.

–Choose masks from a trusted, ethical source and support seamstresses and garment workers during one of the worst seasons our job market and economy has ever seen.