Sundays in isolation usually revolve around walking, coffee, and reenacting ‘The Last Dance’ moments at various basketball courts within 3121. One particular Sunday, Pre Stage 4 restrictions and the introduction of mandatory face masks, we mused over turning old sample products into face-masks to donate within our local community.
TCGCo co-founder Tessa Carroll recounts that whilst discussing this with Ben (co-founder) he was also sharing their vision with a local Facebook community page. Then excitedly relayed “we” meaning ‘she’ (due to Ben’s limited/non-existent sewing ability) had 100+ masks to hand-make by EOD.
Thus, the spare bedroom/study/warehouse, fast became a manufacturing production line as masks were produced and delivered within the community over the next few days. Unsurprisingly, there were no sample products left, and Tessa *calmly* told Ben to stop taking orders until he learned how to use the sewing machine.
The following Sunday, on the back of Premier Daniel Andrews daily press conference it was announced that facemasks were now mandatory and TCGCo was hit with a number of inquiries regarding the procuring of said facemask.
The spare bedroom/study/warehouse/production house was not set up for bulk manufacturing, there was no sample material left and Tessa had only recently got feeling back to her fingers so mass production was not viable. Could this be something that we could produce?
To answer this question, you have to understand TCGCo design principles of People, Planet and Production. We knew that disposable facemasks would become the new takeaway coffee cup, so how could TCGCo produce a sustainable, ethical and affordable alternative?
We are pretty proud that we were able to produce something ‘for the common good.’
It has been awesome to see these facemasks being featured in publications such as Vogue and RUSSH. As a small brand who is still yet officially launch (that is a whole other blog) what we are super proud of, is that to date we have donated 500+ face masks to those vulnerable members of our community.
I know what you are thinking, all the above is good to know but get to the good stuff, to whom are the donated face masks going to?
BANH Inc. is a community organisation which operates Neighbourhood Houses on the Collingwood and North Richmond Public Housing Estates. BANH Inc and the North Richmond Community Capacity Building Initiative have recently teamed up to deliver a weekly food security program as part of BANH Inc.'s Lifting Spirits program.
The Lifting Spirits - Keeping Connected program is in response to COVID-19. The program is a creative response to the social distancing regulations and other restrictions we are all dealing with at the moment.
It is at these weekly food security programs below that we have been able to distribute (safely) our facemasks, via the Food Boxes and Care Packs as well as directly to those members who are able and allowed to line up to collect Donated Food parcels.