UCOL Whanganui’s fashion studio has been pumping out face masks over the last two weeks, now that students and staff need to wear face coverings on public transport.
It all started with UCOL Design & Arts Programme Leader and Fashion & Textile Senior Lecturer Stephanie West, who coordinated two workshops for staff wanting to make their own fabric face masks.
“When we went into Level 2 I was thinking about how I can help people, so I approached UCOL Whanganui Campus Manager Bronwyn Paul about running some mask-making workshops. It turns out she was just about to ask me if I could do it,” says West.
“We had a really good response from staff, with some of them donating fabric. Luckily we had some donated elastic and plenty of fabric to recycle.”
With the workshops being such a hit with staff, Student Life Coordinator Elise Goodge approached West about making masks for all the students who ride buses between UCOL’s Whanganui and Manawatū Campuses.
West was happy to oblige and enlisted a team of colleagues to cut and fold the fabric while she handled the sewing duties.
The masks have been very popular, especially as they are washable and have a pouch for a tissue filter.
Students in West’s fashion class have also been busy making masks for themselves and their family.
“People are actually asking if we can do another workshop, so I think I may have a new job as a mask-maker!” jokes West.
Meanwhile at UCOL Manawatū, the Student Success team held a day-long session where they made over 90 masks for students who ride local buses.