Design reboot during the pandemic

From fashion designers Shantanu and Nikhil stylishly sporting masks in a ‘masked’ post on Insta, to Hollywood celebs donning skull bandanas and Batman masks while shopping for groceries, to local celebs slipping on Hermes scarves as a home-mask, the ideas are bubbling and bouncing in the ‘mask-querade’ in Covid-19 climes. It does help in establishing a safeguard against the pandemic. Now, flowing in are asymmetrical patterns, khadi, colourful and reusable renditions in a melee: a collective uprise to meet the demands of the present, rather unconventional situation. Call it a design reboot.

Call it a design reboot. In a united call to combat the contagion, a flurry of design entities are rallying to pour in functional, aesthetic support.

“As long as people need masks they will be produced and distributed,” says fashion designer Anita Dongre as her team powers the production of cloth masks for distribution to contribute further in the fight against Covid-19 in a major design reboot. After receiving necessary permissions from the government authorities, the production of these reusable masks has begun in two of the five rural village centres that were initiated in collaboration with the Maharashtra state government four years back, starting with Charoti. Through these centres, the Anita Dongre Foundation trains women to make garments and has set up a production facility close to their homes to bring gainful employment to them, using the multitude of materials used for making clothes from the house of Dongre. These centres have had voluntary participation of about 24 women for making close to 7,000 reusable, washable and sustainable masks each week for distribution to NGOs, villagers, individuals, and hospitals.

Call it a design reboot. In a united call to combat the contagion, designers are making masks and giving employemnet to needy women during the pandemic

Shilpi Madan for Deccan Herald

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