Coronavirus: Old Navy, Anthropology among retailers selling fashionable face masks

Coronavirus: Old Navy, Anthropology among retailers selling fashionable face masks
A woman wearing a protective mask on the street in New York City. (Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

Face masks and coverings have been in high demand for months as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to spread, with confirmed cases worldwide nearing 4 million this week.

In mid-April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised the use of masks and cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus.

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Inspiring stories have shown children, volunteers and independent artists making, donating and selling masks to health care works and others as a means of protection.

Some retailers are capitalizing on the CDC’s recommendation and the public’s demand, selling fashionable masks in a variety of materials, patterns and styles.

Gap, Inc., the parent company of Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, is selling masks online through its subsidiaries.

Old Navy’s masks, which were released Friday, are already on back order. Customers can expect to receive purchased masks in early June after the retailer restocks the item, according to the company’s website.

Shoppers can purchase 5-packs of 3-ply, 100% cotton masks in “surprise variety” prints for $12.50.

Leftover materials from other Old Navy clothing items are used to make the masks, which are sold in adult and children’s sizes.

Banana Republic, Old Navy’s sister company, began selling face masks last month, and sold out within hours. While the product was in stock, Banana Republic was selling the masks for $20 each, with $10 of each mask sold going to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The retailer says it’s working on restocking the item.

Fitness brand Athleta is selling 5-packs of masks for $30. The retailer has the item on back order with estimated shipping marked for mid-June.

The Gap, which is restocking its own version of face masks, is inviting shoppers to sign up for its email list to find out when the retailer’s product will be back in stock. First-time registrants can get 25% off their first order.

Other retailers selling face coverings include Disney, which has a variety of masks available for pre-order, and Madewell, which is selling 3-packs for $20 with estimated shipping for new orders going out in early June.

Anthropologie also has an assortment of single and multi-pack masks for sale, ranging from $14 to $38.

Many retailers are limiting the number of masks customers can buy at one time and will not allow returns on mask orders.

Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly, and those who do not work in health care should not seek out masks meant for those responders, according to the CDC.

The CDC insists that cloth face masks should not be considered a substitute for social distancing and that the coverings should not be used on children under 2 or people with breathing issues.