Brief - The Hustle

Demand for cloth masks is surging. Crafters say, sew what?

Written by Caroline Dohack | Sep 19, 2020 4:24:18 AM

You’ve given up on wearing pants. But even if you’re not covering your ass, you might consider doing something with your face.

Um, rude

Last Friday, the White House announced new CDC guidelines recommending people wear non-medical cloth coverings in public spaces. The already high demand for homemade masks surged.

So Etsy sent a push notification to its crafters: “Calling all sellers. Start making face masks.”

And did they ever.

  • Etsy averaged 1 mask-related search every 2 seconds in March.
  • 10k+ sellers sold at least 1 mask each last week.
  • Some crafters are working 18-hour days to meet demand.

Maskmaker, maskmaker, make me a mask…

… just don’t make any misleading claims.

With medical-grade masks like the N95 in short supply for frontline hospital staff, it’s a major faux pas for civilians to wear them. Although cloth masks aren’t as effective at filtering virus-transmitting droplets, they’re better than nothing… and some are ludicrously chic.

Still, the CDC sez we still have to practice social distancing whether or not we mask up.

To ensure everyone understands that a swath of cotton doesn’t make one bulletproof, Etsy issued guidelines preventing sellers from making medical claims about their masks. It even advises sellers to avoid using the words “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” on listing pages.

Meanwhile, maskfluencers have been serving up fresh DIY inspo — and sometimes social commentary — through tutorials posted to YouTube and TikTok.