The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended people wear cloth face coverings in public settings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of a class project, several University of Arizona students minoring in fashion created videos on how to create masks out of items many people have at home.
"I was receiving emails from various students about having anxiety and a feeling of no control over their lives," said Charlette Padilla, associate professor of practice in the Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences. "I decided to give them a project that they could finish and feel proud of. Giving back control over their learning can help combat feelings of helplessness. Remember, the sewing machine was one of our first technical tools that connected work, fashion and society."
The students shared a range of ideas in their videos. For example, Lauren Best in the College of Fine Arts showed how to make a mask from a long sleeved shirt, with no sewing required, Jordyn Clarke in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences made a cotton face mask with hair ties for straps, and Brittany Faubel in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences used a reusable shopping bag and ribbon to craft a mask.
"I was inspired by the idea of helping people, but making it fashionable as well as eco-friendly," said Clarke, a junior majoring in political science. "We consume and throw away so many masks, so making masks that can be washed and reused reduces our carbon footprint."
The project was part of the online course Fashion Consumer and the Economy.
The fashion students are among many in the UArizona community helping address the need for masks during the pandemic. Students in the School of Theatre, Film & Television are using their costuming skills to make cloth masks, while a team of engineering and health sciences researchers is working to design, 3D print and test masks and filters for health care workers.