Remember when we questioned the need - and even desire - for more 'fashionable' masks to be availed to us? We posed the question; "Is it crass to still want to look cute while taking precautionary measures against contracting Covid-19?" 

Evidently not. As an accessory that has become as indispensable as wearing a watch (for some), you can't expect people not to pick their masks according to their personal tastes too. 

READ MORE: Is it shallow to make a case for more 'fashionable' protective cloth masks? 

As such, it has been refreshing to see several local designers producing fabric masks and donating the proceeds to various causes in aid of Covid-19. This has not only provided a plethora of sartorial safety options but the comfort that, in some way, you've made a small contribution towards coronavirus relief.  

In April, African Fashion International (AFI), launched a co-ordinated approach, with 21 designers, to manufacture and design face masks specifically recommended by the Department of Trade and Industry for the South African public. This program was created with the goal of enabling business continuity and operations for South African designers, and help them pay their staff. 

Similarly, award-winning designer Rich Mnisi, has launched a mask range - the proceeds of which will go to charity. The multi-disciplinary brand RICH MNISI, by the creative genius Rich Fumani Mnisi has launched a premium mask range, ALKEBULAN, which means “mother of mankind, an ancient name of Africa”.  

rich mnisi launches covid-19 masks
Image supplied 

This collection comes as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2019 Emerging Designer of the Year by Essence Black Fashion Awards winner was thoughtful in how he produced the pieces. The collection was produced by a group of local women who imparted their knowledge throughout the production line. This is true to the brand’s firm belief in family and indigenous knowledge.  

READ MORE: As we conclude Africa Month, we add 33 South African brands to our list of must-haves 

In the true spirit of Ubuntu, a portion of the proceeds from the masks will go towards supporting local charities affected by COVID-19. This will be done under THOUGHTS, an initiative launched by the founder Rich in 2019 to carry out philanthropic projects. To kick this process off the brand will be donating 100 RICH MNISI masks to a residential facility, located in Sizanani Village, Bronkhorstspruit, for children and young adults with moderate to profound intellectual and physical disabilities.  

rich mnisi launches masks
Image supplied 

The premium masks range from R399 to R1 999, plus a 5-pack of PM2.5 filters is available for R199 (excluding shipping costs).

Fashion and brand enthusiasts can purchase this limited-edition collection from the RICH MNISI Pop Up store online starting today. 

Additional information and images provided by Soulistic Agency on behalf of the RICH MNISI brand.

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