Inuvik’s Food Bank is getting a potentially steady cash injection through sales of masks designed by Kristian Binder, which are selling from coast to coast to coast.
Already he’s donated $982.33 to the food bank, with $450 donated anonymously and the rest in online sales of face masks displaying his photography and high resolution shots of bead and moose hide work by Denise McDonald.
“I decided that since my job hasn’t really been impacted by the situation, I would take the money from the sales and put it towards something charitable,” he said. “I wanted to something local and pertinent to the current situation, with people losing employment or having their hours cut, so I felt like the food bank was a good choice.”
Binder said he doesn’t actually stock the masks himself, he uses a merchandising company called Art of Where out of Montreal that allows customers to design their own clothing, now including masks. He had set up a shop to sell other products showcasing his work and when the option to make customized masks came up he jumped on it.
At a cost of $18.50 plus shipping, the masks have been hot sellers. Binder said he had already sold over 100, so he expected he could provide regular donations to the food bank.
“It’s an ongoing thing, this is just my first donation,” he said. “I don’t know how long it will go for, but the sales momentum is pretty strong. I get notifications every time an order is shipped, and I’m getting anywhere from five to 10 masks shipped. I know people all over Canada have ordered them and the feedback I’ve gotten has all been positive.”
The masks themselves are 100 per cent cotton, with a stainless steel nose piece, a filter pocket and fabric elastics. Though he doesn’t get a lot of analytics of who was buying them, but said anecdotally they were being sold all across Canada, bringing donations for the local food bank from across the land.
As the company he sells through has been overwhelmed with orders for masks, some orders are taking longer than expected. Binder asked anyone who makes an order to be patient — they are indeed coming.
With no vaccine for Covid-19 yet, Binder said he anticipated the demand for masks was going to continue on for some time. He said he was contemplating putting a fall line together for later in the year, providing a helpful boost to the food bank and those who depend on it.
“I have a few ideas,” he said. “Depending on how long this goes, I’ll definitely have some fall designs that I’ve got in mind. We’ll see if they’re still a requirement, but it seems like it probably will be for awhile.”
Visit his store here.