Community Help: One Stitch at a Time
Banyan Workspace would not be the amazing place it is to work without its dedicated team of professionals behind the scenes, and our Head of Operations, Hilvin, is one of our most critical players. She lives and breathes our core values of Sustainability and Giving Back to our local community, as is evidenced in her latest home project.
As keen sewists, Hilvin and her mum both love to make clothes and accessories, often making use of end-of-run materials from the markets or up-cycling natural materials such as shells or wood. But with the recent Coronavirus epidemic in full swing, they have recently turned their talents to a more community-minded activity – reusable cotton facemasks!
“Facemasks have been in short supply or selling at crazily high prices,” Hilvin explains. “I saw an interview on TV with an old man who couldn’t afford to buy such expensive masks, and he didn’t have any mask to wear in order to queue up for free masks donated by a charity. All he could do was stay at home.” Touched by his plight, Hilvin realised that there were many people in Hong Kong, particularly the old or those from low-income families, who were unable to get any masks at reasonable cost.
So they started making reusable cotton masks themselves. “We searched the internet for different methods and used a suitable cotton which is breathable and absorbs moisture. There was no exact pattern, so we had to wear them, see how they felt and then make adjustments.” After this process of trial and error, they sourced specialised filters from Dr K Kwong of the HKU Department of Chemistry, who has developed a mask with changeable and reusable filters. Once the masks are finished, they will pass them on to the District Council members in Sham Shui Po and Kwai Chung District to hand out to those people who are in need.
Hilvin and her mum are not planning on stopping at the facemasks and have plans to make mini organising pouches and hand sanitiser holders as well. Banyan Workspace is so proud to have such passionate and caring people on their team, epitomizing our values. Thank you Hilvin!