Virginia Solomon is the Chair of the PA Board of Directors, and a member of the PA Education and Fundraising teams. In response to the Melbourne COVID-19 restrictions, Virginia started making and selling homemade face masks – with all profits being donated to Permaculture Australia.
If you’re wondering what has making reusable face masks got to do with permaculture…. the answer is lots! Permaculture is based on three ethics – Earth care, People care and Fair share. You can’t do one without the other. These masks will help keep people safe (People Care), reduce single use masks (Earth Care) and profits are being donated to assist with permaculture projects and being made by volunteers donating their surplus time (Fair Share).
“It is unfortunate, but I think we may be in masks for a long time to come, so we might as well have beautiful, comfortable and compostable (or almost) ones! I am still seeing a lot of single-use [masks] around, but hopefully most people will be wearing re-useable ones soon. In fact, this was the main motivator for me from a permaculture point of view – reducing waste, using donated fabrics (although we do insist that all materials be new), involving our community in something positive at such a challenging time – and helping the planet heal one small mask at a time,” Virginia Solomon
Demand for the product has skyrocketed with the announcement by the Victorian Premier on compulsory use of facemasks.
The Eltham Farmers Market kindly agreed to host a Permaculture Australia stall each Sunday. They have been a huge hit – selling out within one hour on the first day of the market! The PA facemasks are also available via postal order to ensure we can reach as many people as possible safely.
A team of volunteers including several PA members has formed to assist with the sewing and fabric cutting. More volunteers based in Melbourne to keep up with demand are urgently needed. More details are listed below.
“It has been a lot of work! Very long days but it is all worth it when people are so enthusiastic and appreciative of the quality of our masks. I have had heaps of help from some wonderful volunteers, too, so it is not just me. We are a team of six including a 12 year old! Fantastic socially distanced community experience,” Virginia Solomon
Tell me more about the masks
The homemade masks are available at the Eltham Farmers Market this Sunday 2nd August from 0800am until all sold out. You can also purchase via postal order/online using the form here.
The three layer masks are $17 each or two for $30 (plus p/handling for postal orders) and come in three sizes. 100% of the profts are being donated to PA to help minimise the impact of single use masks in the waste stream.
UPDATE: Financial members of Permaculture Australia and Permaculture Victoria are able to access a 10% discount on the masks as one of their membership benefits.
I’m keen to volunteer – how can I get involved?
Volunteers who are available to assist with cutting fabric or sewing (chain piecing components) this week are urgently needed. Please get in touch via the PA email: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can link you up. All fabric is provided and you will need to be based in Eltham or surrounds due to travel restrictions. Thanks in advance for your support.
More informationVirginia Solomon is an active member and volunteer of Permaculture Australia, the national member based organisation. Find out more about Virginia here and here. Growing food, making things from scratch, sharing skills and working locally but thinking about global issues are all part of Virginia’s philosophy, which si captured as one of the featured casestudies on the Retrosuburbia website here.
The Eltham Farmers Market exists to provide trading opportunities for genuine local farmers and added value makers. The local food being sold has all been grown or made by the stallholder selling it. The market is a project of local Community Group – Local Food Connect – and is proud to be accredited by the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association. The market operates from 8am to midday every Sunday and is following all Covid-19 restrictions.
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