Mad About Depop magazine spoke with the eccentric and extremely cool Depop shop @bansillustration on their incredible venture into mask making to help protect the public. COVID-19 is still rife and small businesses are doing their bit to help save lives and stop the virus spreading, it is unbelievable. The owner of Bans moved back to her parents just before lockdown began as they live in the countryside which is far more appealing than being locked in her a studio flat in London, alone with no outside space! As her parents get older she wanted to be able to help them out as much as possible and prevent them from having to go out to the shops too.
A couple days after being back home, Bans was inspired by a video posted on Dazed of some fashion students from Prague making their own face masks in isolation. She showed it to her mum who is a keen sewer and got her on board and that is exactly where it began. Ban’s mum is also a nurse who works for the NHS 2 days a week and she could see the importance of wearing a face mask to prevent people from touching our face and spreading anything that might be picked up, meaning the crucial need for these masks would only grow.
Bans had one view on this triumph. ‘I felt that if we have to wear masks to the shops and on our essential trips out, it would add some joy to the process if people get to wear a mask they really love and is a piece of art.’ These masks become a fashion statement and ‘something people might want to ‘rep’ regardless’. The necessity and need for masks is something that isn’t going to go away over night so purchasing these @bansillustration masks it’s a great investment. Bans said it adds a bit of ‘fun and personality to the functionality’.
‘I ordered some tasty fabrics - some Burberry, camo print, leopard print as well as pastel colours. My mum makes the mask, I sew on the elastic to go over the ears then I hand paint them using screen print ink (which means they can be washed!)’ Bans said. The brand are doing custom, one-off masks too which makes the whole purchase more personal to the customer with whatever fabric they want and the option to have whatever they like hand painted on it too. Bans have done some with peoples logos for their businesses too like food delivery companies, masks with animals on for teams of zoo workers and even personalised with nicknames or favourite characters on so it adds that little something else and sprinkle of vibrance to something that is really serious.
They are regularly dropping new designs with their statement characters and branding on all over their Depop shop so keep your eyes peeled on there - depop.com/bansillustration but be quick! ’We have been very busy so far and the demand seems to be increasing! As there is just the 2 of us we are trying our best to keep up with orders and are asking customers to allow up to 2 weeks just in case!’
Bans owner has enjoyed working with her mum. She said how they ‘haven’t spent this much time with each other in 12 years and it’s really cute! It’s great bonding and is giving us both purpose and a sense of being part of the bigger picture in our own little way through doing this.’ Their mask journey has helped Bans brand to grow too and is ‘so refreshing and heart warming that people want to support and invest in small businesses at this difficult time.’ Once an item picks up momentum and becomes popular and in high demand, it sets a drive and yearn to keep creating. The feeling of this is multiplied by 100 when it’s a product that is doing so much good and helping people. Bans said that ‘It’s really lovely to get orders and know that we’re creating something that is useful and potentially safeguarding people from Coronavirus and at the same time sending them some magic and love...’ She also stated how much she loves the whole process of packaging orders up and sending it off too, ‘I absolutely love and make a little ritual of it. I literally imagine packaging up little bundles of my love with it to add some cheer to the receiver. I imagine them opening it and smiling, finding the stickers and a hand painted card with a personal message.’
Amazingly, Bans are giving nurses, care workers and NHS workers discount for the amazing service they are doing for all of us right now and told us that if any of you are ‘one of the above and want a mask please don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know that, that is you!’ If you need some masks, message @bansillustrations!