Join a community-based movement to reduce the spread of COVID-19


Our Goal and Approach

The goal:

Slow down the rate at which people are transmitting COVID-19 to other people.

The approach:

Get as many people as possible to cover their faces and shield others from the virus

There’s four parts to the plan:

1. Follow government guidance

2. Pledge to cover your face when outside your home and around others

3. Make, accept, or buy a face cover that doesn’t take away from our health care supply

4. Learn more about the threat and the risks

The measure of success:

We want to drive the reproductive number of COVID-19 below 1 (#LessThanOne). This is the magic number. It’s the point where we start to win because new cases will start to go down.
Face covers that are homemade or from new manufacturers are a solution right now as we all take action on this pandemic. #MadeByBritain is the way to get us to…



COVID-19 can make you sick without you knowing it. It’s stealthy: it runs through the community undetected, because many people don’t show symptoms even though they are sick and infectious.

You could be innocently helping the spread of this virus, without knowing it.

The UK government set important guidance for all of us. On the 24th of March they said that effective handwashing and following social distancing measures will drop the “reproductive number” of COVID-19 down from the current level of 2.5. A level of 2.5 means one infected person infects 2.5 others; they call this the infected person’s “reproductive number.” The aim of the government’s hygiene and isolation measures is to get the number down to 1.25.

Wired.com – They say Coronavirus isn’t airborne but it’s definitely borne by air

Qualitative real-time schlieren and shadowgraph imaging of human exhaled airflows: an aid to aerosol infection control. Tang JW, et al. PLoS One. 2011.

That is a sensible start. But together, we can do more. We all should cover our nose and mouth with a face covering because this will reduce the distance that any virus we might carry will travel when we breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. In this way, covering your face enhances the impact of social distancing and lowers the risk of transmitting the virus.

Wearing a homemade mask or face gaiter to cover your face protects others, and that is an additional step you can adopt when you absolutely have to be away from your home.


This solution is easy to implement – it is at our fingertips, literally.

How to do this: The Made in Britain Solution and Our Guide 

Make your own mask or face gaiter, using our templates and your own sewing machine.  Use machine washable fabric so that it lasts for a long time, even with daily or twice-daily washing.  Look over our sewing guidance, which includes templates, under the Making section of this website.

You may have heard that N95 masks protect both the wearer and others.  It’s true when worn correctly they are best at stopping transmission, but they are scarce and have a limited life-span, and right now, medical professionals need them.   

Homemade masks and face gaiters are for a single purpose: shielding others.  A homemade face gaiter is reusable hundreds of timesThey are easy to make, and if we all wear one, we can reduce exposures. 

Face Gaiter in position around the mouth and nose
Face Gaiter - in relaxed position around the neck

Our Plan Details

The plan is to reduce the “reproductive number” to less than 1. Here are the steps to take:

1. Start today:

Follow the government guidance as thoroughly as you can and you will make a difference. 

  • Isolation is the most effective way to break transmission – stay at home as much as possible and follow all government guidance. If you show any symptoms self-isolate in your home and if you live with others isolate from them within your home.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with anything coming into your home. Wash your hands when you get back from being outside of your home. Try not to touch your face.
  • Follow all other government guidance strictly.

2. Pledge to cover your face.

A homemade mask or face gaiter can reduce the chance of transmission.  We can cover our faces, as if we are transmitters of COVID-19.  That’s right: just assume you are infected, and think about how you can protect your family, your friends, your neighbour at the zebra crossing, the clerk at the chemist, and all her customers.  It’s easy.  It’s common sense: cover your face.  

3. Use a homemade face cover because supplies are low.

  • When you have to go out cover your face with a homemade mask or face gaiter
  • Wearing a homemade mask or face gaiter is a courtesy to others as it can reduce the amount of virus you spread if you are infected but showing no symptoms
  • Use our templates to make a mask or face gaiter designed for this purpose.
  • Make it machine washable and durable so you only ever need one.

4. Learn more about the threat and the risks.

  • The government has useful information on COVID-19 on its websites
  • Understand that wearing a homemade mask or face gaiter is form of “source control” which – when combined with social distancing – can provide added protection to others, they are not designed to protect you from the virus.
    My mask protects you – Your mask protects me
  • Your mask or face gaiter will be contaminated after use – do not allow others to use it or touch it
  • If you live with others wash your hands thoroughly after removing the mask or face gaiter to prevent spreading the virus to them
  • Kill the virus on your homemade mask or face gaiter by machine washing at least once a day

It’s Simple – We Need You

Made By Britain – Saved By Britain.

Frontline staff, supermarket workers, and workers from all of the service sectors are at more risk than the rest of us who are waiting out the pandemic in isolation. We have a huge capacity in the UK to help them out by reducing the spread of this virus, by making homemade masks or face gaiters. This could be done quickly and at scale – if 100,000 sewers made 10 masks or face gaiters that’s 1 million faces covered. Working together, we would be able to provide one for everyone!

If you are a sewer and can make a homemade mask or face gaiter, then make the first one for yourself, to protect the people around you. Then, make them for others, to help them protect you. It’s simple: you must assume you have COVID-19 to help stop COVID-19.

If you can’t make a homemade mask or face gaiter follow the government guidelines to the best of your abilities. Keep your distance from people who are not covering their face. Pledge your support to cover your face. It shows your solidarity with others taking this step and is the simplest step in following the #MadeByBritain movement to get to…


Let’s review the plan:

1. Follow UK guidelines

Stay inside as much as possible and practice social distancing when away from your home. Follow hand washing guidance. And don’t touch your face.

2. Pledge to cover your face

3. Make, accept, or buy a mask or face gaiter – but don’t take way from the healthcare supply

4. Understand this threat, and the risks from inaction and the choices you make

We need many people to do this, to bring the reproductive number down.

Cases will continue to rise, and there is always a lag in reporting symptoms and cases. It’s always 2-3 weeks before we know if a current measure is working. In the meantime people can do more – cover your face.

Let’s not look back with regret – Act quickly.

Use a homemade mask or face gaiter and strictly follow government guidance.

Together we can beat COVID-19.

No change in Social Distancing

Reproductive number = 2.5

Current Government guidance

Reproductive number = 1.25


Reproductive number = 1

Follow government guidance + do more and we can drive the reproduction number to <1

The numbers will go down and we will

start to win!


Start today – Every little difference now makes a big difference later

Homemade masks and face gaiters do they work, are they any good?

Ready to Make your own?

Now visit our making page to see how to make your own washable mask or face gaiter and if you are not able to sew see our new section on making a single use no sew disposable surgical mask

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