Remember trucker hats, parachute pants, and tracksuits? No one ever thought they'd be fashion statements, but look how that turned out. Now face masks are in vogue, serving double duty as coronavirus protection and celebrity fashion accessory. Everybody from Reese Witherspoon to Jennifer Aniston to Matthew Cherry to Heidi Klum are rocking face masks. And we don't even need to tell you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you wear one whenever you're out in public, and the California Department of Public Health requires it.
Need another reason to mask up? Colleen Dalton, tourism director for the mountain town of Truckee, says, "We launched our 'Mask Up' campaign to keep our community safe and to help our lodging, restaurants, and retailers stay open."
That's right—every time you wear a mask, you're doing your part to help California's businesses flourish.
Masking up is a no-brainer, so the only question is choosing one to wear. You don't want a medical-grade N95 mask—save those for hospital workers. Instead, check out these reusable, washable, made-in-California masks that show off your personality and celebrate the Golden State:
1. San Diego Zoo cloth face masks help protect your kids (or yourself) from COVID-19 while also supporting the animals the zoo cares for. Masks come in two sizes and depict various smiling and/or roaring animal faces—tiger, lion, koala, polar bear, cheetah, and gorilla.
2. Santa Ana's classic surf brand Birdwell has pivoted from making board shorts to sewing masks from stretchy swimwear material. All sales are buy one/give one with masks donated to CORE, a non-profit that provides free, drive-through virus testing for high-risk individuals.
3. Disneyland Resort‘s take on washable cloth masks show off everybody's favorite movie characters—Forky from Toy Story, one-eyed Mike from Monsters Inc., Star Wars' R2-D2 and Baby Yoda (aka the Child), plus all the princesses from The Happiest Place on Earth. For traditionalists, there's always Mickey and Minnie.
4. La Jolla-based Everyday California makes lightweight neck gaiters that you can pull up around your nose and mouth, a great alternative to face masks with strings. Popular prints include a bear carrying a surfboard or a cluster of California poppies.
5. A cabal of Sacramento designers sell their colorful printed masks on The Atrium. Choose from kids' cartoons and superheroes, Black Lives Matter, Pride, and dozens of other graphic prints. They even sell super-cute dress and mask ensembles for little girls. Funds raised from mask sales are used to make free masks for those in need.
6. Sausalito brand Tres Nomad has expanded its Masktopia line of super-comfy, ultra-breathable, secure-fit masks with high-tech features like a metal nose bridge, pocket for filter inserts, and Velcro neck strap (so it hangs around your neck when not in use). Plus, the company plants a tree—or donates a mask to a healthcare worker—for every mask sold.
7. Fresno's Snowflake Designs, a gymnastics apparel maker, is sewing colorful face masks out of excess leotard fabric. Choose from masks sporting the logos of Fresno and Clovis area schools, or go for vivid, cheerful prints that match any outfit.
8. Spoiled Dog Designs in Palm Springs makes upscale doggie accessories and dog-themed apparel for humans. Their washable cotton masks include the Yorkie and Taco Dog. They also sell masks printed with California sports team logos: Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, L.A. Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Angels.
9. Los Angeles skatewear manufacturer Official Brand makes nano-polyurethane masks in California-centric graphic patterns, including waves, palm trees, and circuit boards.
10. If you live on the East Bay or know someone who does, purchase All Good Living's mask that celebrates the city of Alameda. If you're more of a mountain gal or guy, buy yourself a Truckee Love mask.
Before you explore, be sure to visit our Responsible Travel Hub, which includes helpful Travel Updates and links to local California resources.