As the world works collectively to fight the coronavirus pandemic, many fashion brands have switched gears from producing clothing to make face masks. One of them is Rosario Dawson’s eco-conscious fashion and lifestyle brand, Studio 189, which has joined forces in the production of face masks. The cover-ups are made of reusable and washable cotton, and they come in solid colors as well as a variety of colorful and artsy prints that reflect the craftsmanship of African cultures – something the brand prides itself on doing. Each mask retails for $20.
Back in March, the ethical label took to social media to explain their new approach with a series of photos showing the making of masks. “We have been re-organizing our operations in Ghana to be able to provide medical gear for those that need it today and for those that may need it in the future,” they wrote. “We are not the best at it but we have been actively trying to improve and working to be able to provide support.” They continued, “We are using local cotton from Ghana as well as left over off-cuts from our collections so there’s no waste.”
Rosario, 40 and her business partner Abrima Erwiah co-founded Studio 189 after they took a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo with V-Day—an organization that supports and works with the City of Joy, a leadership center focused on helping women who have been affected by sexual violence in the region.
Since then, their mission has been to work with artisanal communities in Africa that specialize “in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant-based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving, and more,” as stated on their website.
In 2018, they won the highly coveted CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability award. Shortly after their accomplishment, the Briarpatch actress told Forbes, “We reward the work that these women are already doing, and collaborate with them so that the funds that we make together could be something that puts their kids through school,” referring to the artisans they employ.