In the latest story of the Canadian fashion industry stepping up to lend a hand with the COVID-19 crisis, Birks has announced a partnership with Toronto-based designer Izzy Camilleri that will donate 2000 masks to hospitals and community organizations in need. 

Always an industry leader with a strong social conscious, we’ve shared about Camilleri’s work in the past, including her IZ Adaptive Collection, a fashion line created for people with disabilities, which was spotlighted in an exhibit at the ROM

Before COVID-19 hit, Camilleri was working in costume design. When the pandemic forced immediate shutdown of the film industry, she was left with a bunch of material and no work. Realizing there was a devastating shortage of protective masks, she moved quickly to sew as many as she could. Even though they aren’t medical grade, there is still a big demand.

With the CDC’s recent recommendations for the general public to wear masks to help prevent transmission, Camilleri has increased her offering to create a consumer line for children and people with disabilities. 

Birks took note of her efforts and quickly came on board as a partner, offering a one for one program: for every mask that Camilleri sells, Birks will donate a second mask to a hospital.” Birks was established in Montreal in 1879, we have been a part of Canadian’s lives in both moments of celebration and in challenging times,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and CEO of Maison Birks

The eco friendly, washable fabric masks are made from a densely woven poly cotton and spandex blend following the protocol established for consumer use. They can be machine washed in cold water and tumbled dry on low heat. Masks are $15 and can be purchased online at “We are proud to partner with Izzy to support an initiative that provides effective personal protection and is environmentally friendly, reusable and cost effective,” says Bédos. 

Birks and Camilleri are encouraging mask purchasers to show their support and tag #Masks4All.