For the past month, LCF’s Social Responsibility team have been developing masks for the community, which are being manufactured at the Poplar Works Making for Change unit. The college was approached by Jane Shepherdson and Jane Kellock, both of whom have been supportive and involved with Making for Change at LCF in the past, with an initial request to help a contact of theirs who was struggling to provide face coverings to their employees, but it turned into much more.
With the help of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise Production Manager, the team managed source fabrics which were generously donated by designers including London based brands, Bianca Saunders, Tandi Fashion and Cucumber Clothing. Using these fabrics, a variety of patterns, sizes and fastenings were tried and tested.
Director of Social Responsibility Claire Swift told us:
“We found that we could still test more before settling on the final design. It was important for us that the users are able to test the feel and comfort of designs to be produced. We also asked for volunteers to help us test and make sample masks, two of which were LCF technicians Sudhir Kohila and Dawit Adenager. A couple of the mask designs were also conceived by Dawit.”
So far, the masks have been received by The Limes Community and Children's Centre in Walthamstow, who provide a fully inclusive, safe space for children and young people to play, learn, and develop. Masks have also been made for members of the LCF community and some other interested parties too.
As the need for protective face coverings continues, the team will work to develop the project further, and continue to collaborate with designers and volunteers, on the manufacturing of more masks to be distributed across east London communities.
“One of our fabric donors, Tandi Fashion, put the masks that we made with her fabrics out on her social media channels and had so many enquiries that we are now working towards a collaborative project together with Making for Change. We hope that we will be able to develop more masks for overlooked groups within the community.”