Mask-Four-Mask: Capital Region native giving back in a big way

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Capital Region native, who was looking to launch her first clothing line ran, into a bit of a hurdle when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Instead of getting discouraged, she decided to make the best of the situation. Now, she’s doing what she loves, while also giving back in a big way.

Erin Lynskey is originally from North Greenbush, but she has since moved to Philadelphia, New York City, San Francisco, and most recently, Denver, Colorado. For the past 13 years she’s been working in the fashion industry hoping to one day launch her own line.

Just as she was about to make that dream come true with her brand “Love Saves Apparel”, the pandemic hit. So she, like many other entrepreneurs, had to pivot with production. That’s where “Mask-Four-Mask” by “Love Saves Apparel” was born.

“The brand that I was hoping to launch this year with swim, launched with masks,” said Lynskey.

So for the last few months, she’s been sending her designs to the factory that was supposed to be making her bathing suits to produce masks instead. 

She also works as a sourcing consultant and was tasked with finding personal protective equipment for hospitals and large agencies during the pandemic when they were struggling with their supply. So, she said after hearing story after story regarding the lack of proper PPE, it was important to her to find another option for people at home so that the supply of N95s could go directly to the hospitals where they are most at-risk and using them every day.

“We can do something to try to keep that supply chain flow going to the hospitals and that’s giving civilians another option,” said Lynskey.

Her high-quality, organic cotton masks come in both adult and youth sizes as well as fun and practical patterns complete with filters.

“It provides up to 95% protection. So when you insert that into two layers of a fabric mask, you’re accomplishing a very high level of particulate filtration, protecting others and yourself,” said Lynskey.

Lynskey told NEWS10 ABC she isn’t in it for the money. For every four masks sold, she donates four masks to hospitals, low income communities, and non-profit organizations across the country, including in the Capital Region.

“By the time all is said and done, in October, we’ll have donated close to 50,000 masks. We probably have only sold half of that, so we’re donating despite not having the sales,” said Lynskey.

However, she said in order for her to continue with donations, she’ll need people to buy the masks so she can afford to buy the materials and cover the cost of shipping.

“I can keep donating, but at some point I can’t keep producing masks. Without having any type of profitability, I can’t produce anymore masks,” said Lynskey. 

The Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany will soon receive their first shipment and Joseph’s House in Troy will receive their second shipment next month. The Development Program Assistant with Joseph’s House, Andrew Barnes, said Erin’s donations were a blessing and have already helped so many people.

“Erin came by last week; she dropped off the masks. The next day, our family team came by and took all the youth masks to go through all the families with children throughout the agency in which we serve, so already, the day after, we took about 100 masks in 24 hours,” said Barnes.

“It’s been interesting to be able to partner with different organizations around the country just because I’ve lived in so many places, but obviously, Albany holds true and dear to my heart being my hometown,” said Lynskey.

For every pack of filters they sell, they also donate $4 to the “No Kid Hungry” campaign.

She’s also offering discounts for healthcare heroes.

“All they have to do is send a picture of their ID, and then once we verify that, which takes about 24 hours, we’ll give them a discount code for 20% off,” said Lynskey.

She said local organizations looking for donations should fill out the form on the website to see if she can help out in any way.

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