How this sustainable style model is making an announcement with their #StopAsianHate face masks

Better Off Alone is a gender-neutral, sustainable fashion company that specializes in biodegradable face masks and other environmentally harmful protective gear. Co-founder and Asian American Bonnie Poon, one of three women from different backgrounds who lead the prosecution at BOA, was ready and willing to speak to us about the specifics of the environmental impact of single-use PPE.

“Most single-use masks (surgical masks, N95, etc.) are made of polypropylene or polyethylene, which is essentially the same as plastic. So it takes hundreds of years to break down. When it breaks down, it becomes microplastic. It is ingested by animals, especially marine life. Many cloth masks contain nylon or spandex, which is better but has a similar impact on the environment, “Poon said.

Instead, BOA bases its designs – which includes overalls, cover-ups, and ultimately pajamas – on breathable fabric. The masks in particular are intended for people who have to wear them for hours. From discussions with hospitality and factory workers, the team developed a fit that does not fit the face and has adjustable ear loops and a neck loop so that the mask cannot go far when removed.

Most recently, Poon’s company added the #StopAsianHate color to its wide range of solids and prints. Fifty percent of all net proceeds from this draft will be donated to Stop Asian Hate GoFundMe, which supports APIA grassroots organizations across the country. Public School fashion designers Dao-Yi Chow and Phillip Lim showed their support for the masks during a #StopAsianHate march in New York City as friends of the brand, fully aware of their philanthropic endeavors.

We spoke to Poon about the importance of shopping and educating about Asian-owned businesses, and learned how her time in China at the start of the pandemic sparked her awareness-raising efforts through Better Off Alone and its products. Scroll to read their full interview with POPSUGAR, then buy the label’s #StopAsianHate mask.

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