Disposable vs. fabric masks


Photo by Annika Nichols

A comparison of of a disposable mask vs. a fabric mask.

The most obvious fashion statement today is something we never would’ve expected six months ago: masks. Masks encourage people to cover their faces. You now have the option to wear a simple disposable mask or invest in a fabric mask. Both prove effective but are fabric masks superior to disposable regarding fashion and ecofriendliness or vise versa?
Specifically in the town of Aspen, picking your mask is equivalent to picking your ski clothes. No one knows who you are when skiing unless you have an outfit that stands out, just as no one knows who you are while wearing a mask unless you choose something that stands out and trademarks you as an individual through playful colors and lively patterns. You may also be a fashionista who matches all masks with your wardrobe, more power to you, own the pandemic.
With a disposable you can go for a more normalized blue or white. It’s under the radar and will get you through a grocery run undetected, looking like every other person. Not trying to blend in? Go for a funky fabric mask with some stand-out pattern. Maybe you’re going out to socially distance and party with your friends six-feet apart outside and you’re trying to stand out.
Masks, in general, can be bought just about anywhere you go. You may have also experienced your mother buying boxes of disposable masks, along with the other essentials for surviving a pandemic: hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Disposable masks are beginning to even take over the plastic bag population, outnumbering them on the streets. You use it one or two times then you throw it in the trash or a sidewalk and forget about it. Disposable masks are not biodegradable masks, what you are doing is littering. Quit being careless about your waste, even in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s nice being able to buy disposable masks in bulk, yet it’s easy to only invest in a couple of fabric masks and just re-use them. Reusing them may even save you a pretty penny or two.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Whichever mask you chose will prove effective and that is the most important thing about choosing a mask today. Although I find fabric masks to be the better pick, it is your job to evaluate both and decide for yourself. Whichever you choose, don’t let it end up on some sidewalk on the side of the street or in the trash after a single use. Disposable masks are not single use masks like single use plastic, try to get at least a solid three grocery store-runs out of that mask. Better yet, buy in a fabric mask you’ll want to re-use and won’t just toss aside.