Sustainable fashion grad Mariah takes to YouTube with 'how to make face masks' video

A Fashion Design graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) who made her name by creating an award-winning catwalk collection from recycled clothing labels has launched a YouTube channel showing people how to make face masks.

Mariah Esa, 23, from Leicester, graduated last summer and has set up her own fashion company based on designing garments from sustainable or recycled fabrics.

Now she is using her skills to produce a YouTube video showing people how they can get creative from home during the COVID-19 crisis, starting with face masks, which many people are choosing to wear when they venture outside to shop for essential items or take exercise.

There is still some controversy about the benefits of wearing a face mask and Government advice is still to social distance yourself, two metres apart from anyone else during essential trips, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds after handling anything, and spend the rest of the time indoors.

But this week Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, an internationally recognised academic in primary health care at Oxford University, said a face mask consisting of layers of cotton can help stop the spread of coughs and sneezes when you make essential journeys outside of your home.

The US and other nations say people need to cover their mouth and nose when venturing out.

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Mariah plans to update the site regularly with other tutorials showing how to design new clothing from old.

The face mask video was the first to be launched, after Mariah was asked by lots of people to show them how to make one.

Mariah said: “I had received a lot of questions on how to make face masks so, for my first video, I put together a short tutorial.

“Please remember fabric face masks do not protect you 100% from the virus. But if you are in a situation where there is no access to N95 face masks (the recommended model for health workers) the best fabrics to use are dish towels, cotton blends or 100% cotton T-shirts.

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“All fabric face masks should be washed and sterilised before use and cleaned again after becoming damp or moist.”

Talking of her video channel, Mariah said: “I have always wanted to create tutorials to spread the message ‘rethink before you throw away’. It’s something I always like to say.

“I passionately believe anything can be given a new purpose in life. For example, as a brand, we create designs from old garment labels. So if labels can be repurposed who says we can’t give our old clothes new life.

“We are currently living through a strange and scary time. We are all having to either work from home or are home bound with hours to fill.

“I believed it was the perfect time to launch my YouTube series. While thinking of projects for my mum to keep active during this time, I thought I could share easy home tutorials. The aim of my craft videos is to show an audience what can be upcycled into new products.

“It is important to keep active and busy in this time and it is always good to have a break from the news for your own mental health. We are currently unable to see our loved ones and I can only sympathise with the nation. It is very hard.”

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Mariah’s final collection for her Fashion Design degree at DMU involved using repurposed labels thrown away in the fast fashion industry .

The collection hit the catwalk in London as part of Graduate Fashion Week last year and won her the Graduate Fashion Week People’s Choice Award X Shein.

Her garments were also displayed during the world-renowned London Fashion Week.

Mariah’s collection was also featured in a major international marketing campaign by the Government which celebrates the enormous wealth of talent nurtured by UK higher education. The GREAT Britain Campaign film was shown in 140 countries.

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Posted on: Friday 24 April 2020

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