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Musical theatre star Todd McKenney launches mask brand to support Aussie costume designers

covid-19 Aug 11, 2020

Aussie stage star Todd McKenney is the definition of someone who lives and breathes theatre. Like so many who work in live entertainment, McKenney's usual stage work – his last role before COVID-19 hit was as Lord Farquaad in Shrek –has been brought to an abrupt halt. So, in the absence of musical theatre and live events, McKenney has teamed up with costume designers to produce and sell face masks online and support the struggling industry.

Todd Masks has created $20,000 in income for Australian costume designers whose regular work has also dried up, including Jennifer Irwin (Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia) and Erin Roche (High Ground, The Pacific and House Husbands). McKenney says, 'We simply cannot sit by as these talented people are forced to leave the industry due to a lack of work.'

Masks come in both adult and children sizes, with a variety of patterns and prints available. The site also hosts charity mask auctions featuring unique designs; proceeds go toward Westmead's Children Hospital (McKenney has been a longtime supporter of the hospital's Grace Centre).

So help the arts while being a responsible citizen and head over to Todd Masks to grab yourself a mask that complies with Australian health standards.

Here are some of our other favourite mask companies selling for a cause...

Yarli Creative

Yarli Creative masks are available in four different designs, each featuring original Aboriginal artwork. Yarli Creative was founded by Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamilaroi woman Madison Cottons. For each mask sold, 40% of profits go to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, Elizabeth Morgan House, helping to provide refuge accommodation and specialist family violence services to Aboriginal women and their children.

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As the pandemic is not going anywhere for some time, there are many ways to keep you and your Community safe. One of those ways is by wearing a facemask. Our Custom Printed Face Masks are printed with Yarli Creative original Aboriginal artwork and come in one adult size, approx 32 x 16 cm in a fitted style. The fabrics to produce the masks are Aerocorp Breathable Polyester. Aerocorp can are washable and reusable. All masks are lined in an un-printed 100% Cotton Fabric. Our masks are triple layered with a filtered pocket for added protection. Yarli Creative has a strong belief in giving back to Community where possible, and to Wartarkan (come with purpose). With this in mind, 40% of the profits from the pre-sale of these masks will be donated to Elizabeth Morgan House. Elizabeth Morgan House "Elizabeth Morgan House are proudly an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. Who provide refuge accommodation and specialist family violence services to Aboriginal women and their children. Their support also extends to parents of Aboriginal children, as well as partners and ex-partners of Aboriginal people. They work in consultation with our community in all aspects of our services. Central to their work is the aim to provide advocacy and support for the empowerment of Aboriginal women." Yarli Creative Founder and Creative Director - Maddy has shared some of her experiences with trauma she has from family violence she experienced as a child and teenager. During this pandemic, Maddy can only imagine what is happening behind closed doors and wants to provide support to an organisation close to her heart. Please visit there website to read more here and click here to donate directly. Please choose carefully- as you’ll all appreciate, we CAN NOT exchange or refund due to contamination risks. ***Please allow 2-3 weeks turn around as they are made to order. #protectivemask #protectyourself #aboriginalowned #buyblak #aboriginalbusiness #supportlocal #familyviolence #covid19 #stayhome

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We've Got You Covered

Why not display your love of music right on your face? In partnership with Universal Music Group, U.S. company We've Got You Covered is selling masks that feature a range of various artists' artwork – from the Sex Pistols to Justin Bieber. Proceeds from every sale goes toward a variety of charities, including MusiCares. MusiCares launched the COVID-19 relief fund to support music creators and professionals that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. So help keep the music community alive with one of these rockin' masks.

The Type1 Foundation

These handmade masks are perfect for those of you that want to keep things simple, with a black unbranded mask. The Type1 Foundation supports individuals and families living with Type 1 Diabetes, with all proceeds going toward building awareness and creating programs to support those affected.

Red Nose

Australian charity Red Nose have released limited edition face masks. Each year more than 3,000 families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child. All funds from Red Nose go toward preventing these deaths and supporting families that have lost a baby or child. A second release of these limited edition face masks is now available. Be sure to grab your $15 mask in time for Red Nose Day on 14 August!

Pet Flair

Many of us have been spending a lot more time with our pets these past few months, seemingly resulting in a bit of separation anxiety (for both us and our furry friends). So why not let the world know just how much you love your beloved animal sidekick with a custom mask that features their face! Vet Dr Katrina and Pet Flair have teamed up to create these masks, with 25% of profits being donated to assist pounds and rescue centres with rehoming rescue animals across Australia.

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With #Melbourne announcing #masks as mandatory, @drkatrina & Petflair have partnered to create custom print masks, featuring your pet on it! 🐾. This fun initiative will be raising funds for @poundpaws charity, with 25% of profits donated, to further assist our work in assisting pounds and rescue centres with the overall rehoming process of rescue pets in Australia. We are delighted to have engaged an Australian manufacturer to produce breathable, washable, environmentally-friendly masks according to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines. Save $10 when you buy 2 masks - use discount code: DOUBLETROUBLE at check out 🙌🏽 Shop via the link in our bio - lots of colours to choose from 🐾💙🌈 • • • • • • #melbournemasks #sydneymasks #supportlocal #australianmade #adoptdontshop #poundpaws #fundraiser #sydneydogs #melbournedogs #australianmade #australianmadecampaign #masks4all #sydneypollution #petflair #sydneysmoke #climatechangeaustralia #masksforsale #petlover #adoptdontshopaustralia #animalwelfare #dogrescue #rescuedog #catrescue #pettips #petcare #rescuecat #aussiemade #buyaussienow

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ULO

Clothing company ULO have designed a range of face masks that stay true to the brand's ethos: celebrating West African fabrics. The three-layered masks are manufactured in Australia with African wax print cotton, linen and poly cotton using deadstock fabric (reduce, reuse, recycle!). Better yet, 10% of all online sales are donated to Beyond Blue to support those experiencing mental health issues.

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‘We did not plan on doing this...’ was the title of my note to our subscribers this morning. More in stories, but what can I say?! 320 of you requested these in the past 48hrs and we took action. Our reusable face masks are vibrant, bright and colourful - perhaps the only thing that can scare off this pandemic. • On a serious note, 10% of all online sales will be donated to @beyondblueofficial - an organisation which is very close to my family’s heart and probably working a lot harder than most of us during this stressful time. • Available to pre-order online (now) and in local stores in Melbourne (soon!). • Victoria, it’s been a scramble, but a joyful one at that! Enjoy. Dinz 🧡

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Tabitha Gyde

Tabby loves puns and pop culture. She also enjoys eating, travelling, and overwatering her plants.