In response to calls from the Canadian government for businesses to contribute during these uncertain times, the Toronto-based custom clothier King & Bay has elevated the impact of the fashion industry by launching a challenge that encourages Canadians to create personal facemasks. 


The “Shirt Off You Back” (SOYB) challenge is an initiative that lets Canadians use an article of clothing to make face masks to combat the spread of the virus and to reserve the supply of N95 respiratory masks for frontline medical workers. While the DIY masks are not as functional in protecting against the virus in comparison to the N95s, it keeps hands away from our faces, nose, and mouth.

Committed to reducing the spread of the virus and mitigating the risk of shortage in medical supplies, Aashif Jamani, King & Bay Master Clothier says that “During these challenging and uncertain times, we want to provide a means for average Canadians to contribute in a meaningful way from their homes. In the hopes that it will make a difference, he adds that “Every personal-use mask made through this challenge is an N95 mask that can be saved for frontline medical workers.”

Aashif Jamani, King & Bay Master Clothier

With the use of sewing machines and fabrics, the King & Bay team has started producing face masks where many will be donated to the East Toronto hospital and distributed to all approved visitors entering the hospital as well as patients who have recovered and are ready to be discharged. 

If you wanna get started on making your face masks, King & Bay have uploaded a video that you can watch here:

Make sure to use the hashtag #SOYBFaceMaskChallenge and tag @mykingandbay to showcase your DIY face masks and spread the word!