As we were sharing with you the stories, and mental health struggles, of the frontline medical workers across the country who are fighting COVID-19, Allure wondered how we might help this group in a very practical, and of course beautiful, way. And then fashion startup Anywear came to us with an idea.
After seeing images of the skin irritation frontline workers are experiencing from wearing face masks during long shifts, Anywear consulted with medical professionals about exactly what might minimize their discomfort. They learned that headbands (and medical caps) with buttons to which masks could be affixed would help alleviate chafing and pain around the ears. Countless Zoom calls and several prototypes later, Anywear has launched The Banding Together Project.
At Anywear’s BandingTogetherProject.com, you can purchase a headband and cloth face covering for yourself and Anywear will donate a headband or medical cap with buttons to a medical professional in need. The headband-and-face-covering sets come in several different styles and over a dozen different prints. Because beauty is even more special when it’s shared, Allure called on some pros we consider members of our extended family to channel their creativity in support of a great cause. Makeup artists Daniel Martin and Nam Vo, hairstylists Chris McMillan and Nikki Nelms, dermatologist Shereene Idriss, and manicurist Mei Kawajiri have each designed headbands and cloth face coverings with a wink to their own creative sensibilities. Model Halima Aden, an Allure cover star and former hospital worker herself, also designed a hijab-and-face-covering set. We even got in the game ourselves, creating several prints based on all our all-time favorite nail art. In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for cloth face coverings, all fabrics are hand and machine washable—as practical as they are pretty.
With cofounders based in Tel Aviv and New York City, Anywear was originally set to launch in the U.S. this summer as a platform where you can design your own clothes (or shop a gallery of pieces) and have them custom-made using AI technology to fit you precisely. The company had to postpone its launch date in light of COVID-19 but is thrilled to begin producing these face coverings, headbands, and hijabs as a way to give back to frontline workers. (While a Condé Nast colleague from Teen Vogue is a founding investor in Anywear, neither Condé Nast nor Allure will receive any money from the sale of these products.) One hundred percent of Anywear’s proceeds will cover the costs of labor, materials, manufacturing, and distribution of products for donation.
At Allure, beauty has always been a universal language for creativity and self-expression. Beauty has the power to provide a communal uplift — and no one is more deserving of that than our frontline professionals.
Please visit BandingTogetherProject.com to purchase from our curation of designs. When you do, a pain-relieving, front-line approved headband or medical cap will be donated to a frontline worker.
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Originally Appeared on Allure