A few weeks ago, I ordered five masks from the ethical fast-fashion brand Reformation. The price was $25—which, if you’ve been following the price of masks, is a steal. After it arrived, I was disappointed to see that my batch was viscose and rayon, while most scientists say cotton is the material of choice for a homemade mask. But $25—or just $27.50 with tax!—was still the best deal for a mask I had seen.
That is, until Old Navy did what Old Navy is so good at: Selling stuff cheap.
Today, Old Navy started selling a pack of five masks for $12.50, which come in adult or child sizing. With ground shipping and tax, the total came to $20.72. The designs that arrive are a surprise and appear to be repurposed Old Navy fabrics. However, Old Navy does promise these are 100% cotton, constructed with three-ply protection. They’re also machine washable.
As part of its mask efforts, Old Navy says it will donate 50,000 masks to the Boys and Girls Club of America. It’s fair to question the ethics of Old Navy’s production process. But during a time when so many people are short on cash, and yet we know we should be wearing masks in public, a $12 pack of cotton masks feels like a small miracle of the modern industrial process.
At the time of writing this, the masks are already on backorder until late May, and the link for the kid size appears to have disappeared for the moment. In other words, if you want in on the deal, you’ll want to move quickly.