During this COVID 19 pandemic many people have made use of the single-use face masks to stay safe and protected. However, despite the benefits of these single-use masks, they have also had a negative environmental impact; as our oceans are now being polluted with Personal, Protective, Equipment (PPE). According to a Sky News article ‘even when disposed of correctly, it is claimed that PPE cannot be recycled , as it is considered medical waste. But the article also stated that ‘conservationists are urging those who are not considered high-risk, to buy reusable masks to help cut down on potentially tens of thousands of tonnes of extra plastic waste.’


Whilst researching for solutions to this issue I came across a website called ‘Sustainability Victoria’ which gave advice on eco friendly alternatives to disposable face masks. One of the suggestions given on their websites was to make your own reusable cloth masks using old clothing or leftover material lying around your home. This finding brought me to the idea of encouraging Sainsbury’s shoppers to collect and donate old clothes and leftover materials.

The donations will be sent to Etsy face mask sellers who have volunteered to sew reusable face masks out of the unwanted cloth and materials. Once the volunteers have sewn the donated cloth into masks they will be sent back to Sainsbury’s to be sold online and in sainsbury’s stores.


Donate your old clothes and have them converted into reusable face masks.

Screenshot 2021-01-28 at 12.06.35.png


‘Donate your old clothes & have them converted into reusable face masks’. Sainsbury’s shoppers will be encouraged to purchase this reusable bag for £1.50, which is worth 1 reusable face mask. They will fill it up with any unwanted clothing or materials they have lying around at home. Shoppers should make sure to keep their receipts for this bag where you find a code to claim 1 free reusable face mask. The money made from the reusable bags and the purchased mask will go to Operation Mer Propre, A French non-profit organisation who found dozens of gloves, masks and bottles of hand sanitiser beneath the Mediterranean sea. Their activities include regularly picking up litter along the Coed’Azur.

Brief bag2-02.png
Brief bag and bank-01.png
Brief bag and bank-04.png


Once they fill up their bag, they can take it to their local Sainsbury’s where they can throw it in the clothing bank which will be in all Sainsbury’s stores.

Brief bank-04.png


As this will be a collaboration with Etsy, face mask sellers will be given the opportunity to volunteer and sew reusable face masks with the donated items of clothing which will be sent to their address. On the Etsy website there will be a banner ad to raise awareness about COVID 19 waste in our oceans; as well as encourage Etsy face mask sellers to contribute to solving this issue. The donations will be delivered to the Etsy volunteers to sew and send back to Sainsbury’s. The sellers who sign up to be volunteers will receive a Sainsbury’s discount voucher, and a chance gain recognition on Etsy.