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