December 9, 2020/News Releases

Virgil Abloh and Off-White™ Collaborate with Cleveland Clinic and Suay on New, Philanthropic Face Masks

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Virgil Abloh and Off-White™ proudly announce a new philanthropic collaboration and initiative with the leading academic medical center Cleveland Clinic, and the Los Angeles-based green production shop Suay with the creation of a new hand wash, hang dry mask. All proceeds from the sale of this mask will be directed to support COVID-19-related research at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens.

Abloh and Suay have co-designed and developed a new hand wash, hang dry mask, which has been exactingly constructed for high filtration and breathability. It has also been tested with their medical partner, the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. This non-woven (two-ply polypropylene) surgi-cal wrap material is fully encased in a bias-cut Japanese power mesh. The masks feature neon contrast-hued binding with adjustable ear loops, a meticulously crafted contoured face covering, and they are shipped in compostable packaging.

(Courtesy: Gabe Loughney)

The production process for these masks was also rendered with a sustainability-minded focus. Pioneering the clean up economy, everything at Suay is made from a combination of post-consumer waste and deadstock integrated with domestically and organically grown fibers.

(Courtesy: Gabe Loughney)

Cleveland Clinic worked with an outside lab to test the masks’ material and degree of breathabil-ity. Testing showed that the breathability and particle filtration were high performing. Even after 20 washes, the masks continued to perform with a high level with an efficiency.

“In the grand scheme of things, projects like these are when fashion is the most important,” says Virgil Abloh.

“Masking is critical to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Lara Kalafatis, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Philanthropy Institute. “Thanks to Virgil Abloh and Suay for their creativity and support. We are grateful for their commitment to helping us meet a critical need as we navigate this global health crisis. Thanks, also, to the many people who will purchase and proudly wear this unique face covering. The proceeds from the masks purchases will immediately fund the life-saving COVID-19 research underway at Cleveland Clinic.”

(Courtesy: Gabe Loughney)

The masks will be released for purchase from December 9th, 2020 on Canary Yellow. In addition, Off-White™ has made a monetary donation to the center whilst simultaneously creating a limited edition t-shirt that reads “I Support Our HealthCare Heroes” that has been donated to the Cleveland Clinic’s staff. The tee is a keepsake and symbolic item, celebrating the collaboration.

About Cleveland Clinic:

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 67,554 employees worldwide that represent 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 18 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries.

About Suay:
Suay is a Los Angeles based 100% vertical sewing and production shop founded in 2017 by CEO and Lead Designer, Lindsay Rose Medoff. Operating out of a 5,000 sq. ft sew shop and retail space in east L.A., Suay is cultivating a new workforce of textile recyclers within the garment industry with a team of thirty employees dedicated to eradicating the massive amount of destructive waste from the fashion industry. In 2019, Suay diverted over 250,000 pounds of garments from landfills, as their positive environmental impact continues to grow year by year. Founded on the vanguard ethos of true progressive circularity, '​Know your grower, know your sew-er'​. Suay has continued to support garment workers' rights and policy reform for fair wages, highlighting the numerous systemic injustices within the fashion industry. In the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Suay expanded its activist arm to include weekly food distribution to garment workers, solidified long term partnerships with national organizations to support indigenous communities and launched their nationwide textile donation recycling program, ​Suay SOS​. Suay remains determined to create a culture of community and reuse. Their dedication to design, coupled with a drive for activism, is putting reclaimed products at the center of a social, economic and environmental revolution.

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