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People's Mask Movement 2020/06/01
  By the People,For the People !  
People's Mask Movement

Interview with People's Mask producers and recipeients, let's hear what they say about the People's Mask Movement !!

Fair Circle launched the first round of People's Mask operation from April to June 2020, work together with 5 fair trade partners in Northern Thailand, Bangladesh and India in producing more than 42,000 People's Mask.  We distributed the masks freely to local communities in nine regions of the above three countries, and teach them about the correct usage of the mask and epidemic prevention knowledge. Furthermore, People's Mark project not only protects the local underprivileged communities at the economic and community health level but also encourages our fair trade partners all around the world to pay attention to and use masks as early as possible in the early stages of the pandemic outbreak (mid-March 2020). The producer's recognition and appreciation by their local community is an unexpected outcome:

"At first, I thought these were all medical thing which we do not need, after we started making People’s Mask, we feel good about it, also the community treating us some respect as we are involved in making this important product during this COVID crisis period. “ Sharing of Bangladesh producers.

“I did not know the value of wearing a mask, I heard from some of our foreign volunteers that WHO did not recommend to those who did have Covid-19 to wear it. So, at the beginning, I did not believe in it! After hearing about the explanation of the People’s Mask by weave’s health education team in May to July, I realized the power you give to other by wearing mask as a protection. I also realized the importance of keeping ourselves healthy and clean. Most of the time due to the many limitations in the refugee camp, we always take things from granted. Now, with Covid-19, we are forced to pay attention to the things we do, we learnt many things, including the value of caring for others. I am very thankful to the people behind Fair Circle, with gratitude and on behalf of the many refugee women in Thailand, I extend our big thank you. May God Bless you for everything that you do” – Maw Mie Meh, Karenni refugee woman leader.

Due to the intensified epidemic in many poor Asian countries, we launched the second stage of fundraising activities from 2020 to March 2021. All income from selling People's Mask will be donated to India, Bangladesh to support fair trade producers making People's Mask and deliver them to locals and communities in need. It allows them to own a reusable mask and also supporting producers affected by the epidemic to get a fair and sustainable income. [Second phase has completed]

People's Mask ($99/ 2pcs)

FAIR CIRCLE People's Mask is made with hand-woven cotton and sewn by Bangladesh Fair Trade producers. Under the mainstream of Bangladesh's fast-food fashion foundries, our partner Artisan Hut is one of the few that preserves traditional hand-woven technique which helps local underprivileged groups become self-reliant.

  By the People,For the People !  
Fair Circle People's Mask Project Update (October)
公平點 ( FAIR CIRCLE ) have support 42,330 pcs People Mask production and distribution, the details are as follows.

1) Thailand : 4,000pcs produced by WEAVE refugee, support the distribution of 4,000pcs for elderly women in Ban Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Northern Thailand
Supported 15 producers from refugee camps and northern Thai villages.  On average, each producer received between USD 143-172 income during the pandemic. 
"My family faced enormous challenge when Thailand was placed in quarantine and when there was stoppage of work. My husband lost his job, and I have to struggle hard to meet our needs on a day to day basis! So, I felt relieved when WEAVE informed us that it will not close its operation. Even if the work was done minimally and at home, I am able to continue our work. Thus, we learned from WEAVE that there is a growing need of masks and we have to assist in order to help protect people from the virus. During this period, I did not only benefit from the income that I receive from WEAVE. Moreover, I also benefitted enormously from the information I got about the People’s Mask, its important contribution in making people safe, about the dangers of Covid-19 and the importance of keeping ourselves healthy, safe and taking care of one another." Naw Ladda, Weave producer.
[Download People's Mask Operation Report by WEAVE]
[Producer and Recipient feedbacks]

2) Bangladesh :
a) 8,000pcs produced by Prokritee in various production site across Bangladesh, support the distribution of 8,000pcs to producer families, rice farmers, production site villages (some refugee camp in northern Bangaldesh) and NGOs
Supported 53 producers livelihood by sewing the masks during the pandemic, raising income of total USD 1420.
4686 pcs for producer family members
2514 pcs for local NGOs and community
800 pcs for rice farmers
[Download Prokritee Distribution List ]
[Download People Mask Recipient Signature List  ]
b) 6,230 pcs produced by Artisan Hut, distribute by two local NGO in Bangaldesh (Slump area in Dhaka), supported by CEDAR Fund through FAIR CIRCLE

3) India :
a) 19,500 produced by Sasha, support the distribution in Kolkata district, including slump area, disable groups, women at risk through following local NGOs
- 4000 masks were distributed to Action Aid
- 4000 masks were distributed to DSWS
- 2000 masks were distributed to IICP
- 3000 masks were distributed to Rupantaran
- 2500 masks were distributed to Tomorrow’s foundation
- 4000 masks were distributed to Sahay, Children International
Supported 300 producers from 15 producer groups in earning fair income during the most difficult period, by producing People's Mask.
People Mask Distribution Kolkata

b) 2,700 pcs produced by Last Forest, distribute by two local NGO in India, supported by CEDAR Fund through FAIR CIRCLE

4) Hong Kong :
2,400pcs produced by Artisan Hut, the masks sent to HK for further fundraising campaign.
4,500pcs produced by Artisan Hut, the masks sent to HK for further fundraising campaign.

  By the People,For the People !  
Fair Circle People's Mask Project Update ( 01/6 )

Fair Circle People's Mask Project Update (06/5)

1) Bangladesh
Bangladesh ’s original lockdown order that expired this week was extended to May 17, which not only caused some difficulties in the production of masks (due to local government restrictions on the number of people in the workplace) but also hit the livelihood of locals. Fair Circle local partners are planning to distribute the production and distribution of 8,000 masks in four different areas of Bangladesh (green dots shown in the map), covering the north to south of the local area. Distribute emergency food, soap, and a small amount of emergency money to suspended producers and family members.
Bangladesh People Mask Area
Map: provided by Prokritee

2) Thai-Myanmar border refugee camp
Production of 4,000 masks has started, but many roads connecting northern Thailand and the refugee camps are still blocked, which causes some difficulties in material transportation, and it takes more time than usual. It takes three days to reach Ban Nai Soi refugee camp from Chiang Mai City.
Thailand Peoples Mask
Photo by: Weave
We care. We protect. We are Fair Trade.

Fair Circle People's Mask Project Update (30/4)
In mid-March, the global epidemic was severe. According to Hong Kong's experience, wearing masks does have some effect on preventing COVID-19. However, there are still some disputes on the effectiveness of wearing masks by governments and disease control agencies in various countries, so we continue to share relevant research and discussions with foreign friends. As many countries have gradually affirmed the effectiveness of wearing masks, and even require citizens must wear masks or cover their nose and mouth while leaving their homes or take public transportation. This poses a more significant challenge to the already scarce supply of masks. We understand that the global amount of medical-grade protective equipment is tight and that medical-grade masks also need to be given priority to hospitals. In terms of protecting citizens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has called on all citizens to use cloth masks when they go out to reduce the spread between people.

We are worried that apart from the severely damaged European and American countries, developing countries that with lack of sufficient medical equipment and have a dense population will become another severely affected area. Since some communities in developing countries have sewing tools and technologies, we encourage partners in different countries of the world to produce "People's Mask", which is a cloth mask with a paper towel in the middle to protect their personal and community health.

We hope that by collecting donations, we will use the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) network to support producers of developing countries in Asia to make People's Mask fabrics in large quantities and give them to local communities in need so that they can use them multiple times. It can also support producers affected by the epidemic and get fair and sustainable income.

In early April, the World Fair Trade Organization Asia (WFTO-Asia) officially launched the People's Mask Movement as one of the actions in response to this disease.

People's Mask Movement
Everyone has their own masks !
Masks for the People, by the People ! 
  By the People,For the People !  
Fair Circle People's Mask Project process
We support the production of "People's Mask" by fair trade organizations in Bangladesh, refugee camps in northern Thailand, India and other places. Now over 10,000 cloth masks are ready and will be distributed to some people in need in these countries for free.

1) Bangladesh
Fair Circle People's Mask supports Bangladesh partner Prokritee to produce 8,000 masks. It is distributed free of charge to local migrant workers who need to travel back and forth, rice farmers who have to work in the field, and Prokritee producers and family members everywhere. Most of the producers have brought some materials back to work from home since the lockdown of the city at the end of March, but many of them have stopped. Different from the general practice of local factories, some fair trade organization try their best to pay producers' salaries or emergency money. Although Bangladesh recently extended its closure to 5/5, which has caused some difficulties in the production of People’s Mask, we still hope and strive to complete the production and distribution as soon as possible to protect more locals.

People's Mask

2) Thai-Myanmar border refugee camp
The Ban Nai Soi refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border is located in the northernmost tip of Thailand, with a population of more than 10,000 people, mainly of the Karenni / Kayah ethnic group, who came to the camp to escape the armed conflict or persecution of the military in Myanmar. The battle has not ended yet, and many refugees have stayed in northern Thailand to survive with aid provided by humanitarian agencies because of their lack of basic needs such as water, medical care, and education. Refugees are not allowed to leave the camps; the simple dwellings and the densely populated population make them very vulnerable to virus infection.
Fair Circle partner Weave has assisted these groups locally since 1990. Women in refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border have been arranged to produce cloth masks, and later distributed to about 2,000 women in need in the camps, including older women (over 65 years old), widows, single mothers, and disabled women. People's Mask not only protects the needs of local disadvantaged groups but also provides income to women who produce masks in refugee camps. Besides, local partners will also organize related cleaning and hygiene classes to more than 100 teachers in the camp, and then they will pass on relevant knowledge to the camp community.

3) India
We are finalising production and distribution arrangements with our Indian partners. Production is expected to start in May and will be distributed to those in need.
Thank you for your support. As of 30/4, we have about 200 friends who donated about 160,000 Hong Kong dollars to support People's Mask. We will continue to collect donations until further notice. Due to the limited workforce, friends who have donated earlier, we will issue donation receipts one by one as soon as possible in May, please be patient, thank you!

People's Mask Global Progress
Fairtrade production organizations in more than ten countries around the world have started to produce People's Mask. Tens of thousands of cloth masks are distributed free of charge through donations or sold to people in need at reasonable prices. Recently, WFTO-Asia contacted some international organizations and received a very positive response. It is expected that more organizations will support the People's Mask movement in May.

If you are interested in participating or want to learn more, please feel free to contact us.

( FAIR CIRCLE ) Director
FAIR CIRCLE is member of WFTO and WFTO-Asia

Note :
1) All donation will be sent to the fair trade organizations of the respective countries to execute the production and distribution of People’s Mask.
2) Fair Circle is a social enterprise set up in 2005 in Hong Kong.  Donation to Fair Circle cannot claim tax deduction.
3) "People’s Mask" references the mask study by the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital and Consumer Council and the concept of HK Mask.  HK Mask is designed by Dr. K. Kwong and his team Sew on Studio.  People’s Mask has no relation with any of the above mentioned institutions, Dr. K. Kwong and his team.  We appreciate their sharing of the study and the concept of cloth mask with the general public.

We care. We protect. We are Fair Trade.

參考資料 :
1) Information of Face masks mandatory in some countries / cities ( 16/4/2020 )
2) About Bangladesh
  By the People,For the People !  
Fair Circle People's Mask Project Update (17/4)
Our partner has coordinated women in the refugee camps at Thai-Myanmar border to begin cloth masks production next week.  That batch of masks will be distributed to some 2,000 women in several camps who are more vulnerable, including the elderly (over 65 years old), widows, single mothers, and those with disabilities. Not only can People's Mask respond to the needs of local vulnerable communities, but also provide income to the makers in refugee camps. In addition, the local partners of Fair Circle will conduct health talks to teach more than 100 teachers in the camp so that they can pass the knowledge to the other refugees.

The Ban Nai Soi refugee camp, situated at Thai-Myanmar border, is the northernmost refugee camp in Thailand.  It now shelters more than 10,000 people, most of them are Karenni/Kayah ethnics, who fled from the armed conflict or military persecution in Myanmar. The conflict has not yet ceased, and many of the people who don't have access to life basics like water, medical care and education have stayed in northern Thailand to receive aids from humanitarian agencies. Weave, one of Fair Circle's partners has assisted these communities on the ground since 1990. Refugees are not allowed to leave the camps.  Primitive and packed habitat make them more vulnerable to virus infection.

Thank you for your support which has moved us a little forward on the path of helping vulnerable communities!

Our partners in Bangladesh and India have also started implementing the project.  More posts will be up to give you the progress updates.


Donate to support People's Mask Project
Assist producers in developing countries to make cloth masks in large quantities and provide to local communities in need. The initiative can also provide a fair and sustainable income for the mask makers who are affected by the pandemic. 


PEOPLE'S MASK Facebook Page

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