Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
We are Lisa Simpson and Bia Farão, two Brazilian-Canadian sisters living at the opposite ends of Europe trying to turn our fears and insecurities about this pandemic into action.
Lisa is a sound artist and a seamstress in Berlin, Germany. She has been upcycling all her life and wanted to channel that practical skill into something useful while staying at home. She has done extensive research into DIY cloth masks in order to devise and test a model that is effective, easy to make and that requires materials we mostly have available at home. She is now sewing masks as fast as possible (up to 70 a day!) to donate to local shelters, refugee initiatives, retirement homes, and anywhere that might need them. She delivers them through a makeshift elevator from her first floor balcony on the Sonnenalle.
Bia is a social scientist and a community activist in Coimbra, Portugal. She is part of many local sustainability initiatives and felt a huge sense of despair when all activities ceased. She found strength in her sister’s motivation, and helped her organise her resources to share with as many people as possible. Now Bia is mobilising a local action group in Coimbra to gather materials, sew and distribute masks across the region (for more info visit Máscaras Solidárias).
We have also been supported by many friends and family, namely Dr. Maria Beatriz Silveira MD, who contributed to the research around the viability of cloth masks; Maria Alice and Julio Carneiro, for the emotional support and for starting a home production in Brasil, and Karen Tortato for supplying the materials; Dr. Sergio Sousa, MD, PhD, for advice and support; Frau Lelli, for the makeshift workspace in the Sonnenallee; Lena Bing, for countless messages in the making process; Kris Limbach, for being the first one to ask for a mask; Rag Treasure and the Mediendienst Leistungshölle, for continuous sharing of ideas; Caroline Cecilia Tallone, Edith Steyer, Alanna Lynch, Raini Peters, and Ritsuko Mint Patty for joining and creating a maker community; AWO Kreisverband Berlin-Mitte e.V., for fabric donations; Alec Barth, for the informative illustrations; this list will most certainly go on. Thank you for all of your support!!
A special thanks to translator Marllene Silva, for taking the time to translate this site to Portuguese; Flora Bahri for the French translation; and Federica Teti and Cristina Lelli for the Italian translation.
As this is a volunteer-based work-in-progress, we will keep updating this website as we learn. Please feel free to reach out to us if:
- you have any questions about how to make a mask
- you are in Berlin and need/want a mask
- you are in Coimbra and want to help create an action group to make and distribute these locally
- you have science-based resources you would like to share with us
- you want to translate this site to other languages (Arabic, German and Spanish on the way)
- you have respectful, constructive criticism about anything we have posted on this website