On the 31st of July from 18:00 to 19:07, invited accomplished fashion designers and healthcare professionals from South Africa and the African Diaspora, will connect online under the social media handle #Mask67Challenge.  In a 67 minute virtual master-class they will discuss their first-hand experiences of the devastating impact of COVID-19. In the spirit of service to others embodied by the International Nelson Mandela Day (July 18), they will also share valuable practical preventative best practises. Hosted by Dr. Thembeka Mlauli, the conversation will be rendered by illustrators into a COVID-19 mask design that symbolically represents solidarity with the less fortunate and most vulnerable in midst of the pandemic.


MASK67 Online Challenge was founded to encourage the fashion industry to play a critical supportive role in the fight against this pandemic by sewing and donating free face-masks and Personal Protective Equipment to frontline-healthcare workers, especially those serving the rural and indigent communities. Thousands of fashion designers, dress makers, pattern makers, crafters, fabric artists and machinists are effectively out of work because of the Covid-19 pandemic Lockdown negatively affecting the industry leading to:


  • Uncollected bespoke/tailored  fashion items as customer  priorities change
  • Unpaid/dishonoured  balances most customers pay “cash-on-delivery”
  • Fully paid fabric going to waste as seasons, trends and themes change
  • Idle work studios and home sewing excess capacity due to lockdown
  • No direct or face to face sales, loss of income as demand deeps


As devastating as the above situation is on the fashion and related industries, fashion practitioners have a unique opportunity to restructure their businesses. The highly skilled, but mostly independent and disintegrated informal sector and its unofficial value-chain have the capabilities to not only survive but to also transform itself.  Thousands of women, men and children have home – sewing machines, others are organised into rural or peri-urban small cooperative cutting, manufacturing and trimming operations. Mask67 Online Challenge will mobilise this collective power, digitalization and Ubuntu  in the fight against the Covid -19 pandemic.


“This program is intended to use Ubuntu -Centred 4IR elements to document, preserve and develop the resilience of the local fashion Industry by enabling independent, small and PDI owned  businesses  to be transformed by the disruption of Covid-19, instead of getting killed by it.  By helping to ease the burden of the high global demand of Personal Protective Equipment, local fashion practitioners will have to re-organise themselves to effectively compete with global supply-chains.”, says Xolani Zulu, Chairman of Play2Legal and Founder of the Mask67 Challenge.


There is a huge shortage of the shortage of PPE’s.  in the fight against Covid-19 is catastrophic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the South African Medical Association (SAMA)the global  and the South African supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse – is putting lives at risk from Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others. The biggest shortages of PPE materials are:

  • Medical masks  estimated at 89 million
  • Examination gloves 76 million
  • Safety goggles more than 1.6 million per month. 
  • Gowns
  • Shoe coverings
  • Respirators (i.e., N95 or FFP2 standard or equivalent).


According to, Mask67 Challenge Webinar Master Host,Dr. Thembeka Mlauli, CEO and founder of DR M. Investments and Soul Discovery Boutique Hotel , “Without interventions like the Mask67 Online Challenge , Covid-19 pandemic related disruptions will lead to the collapse of the fashion sector. The agenda of achieving social cohesion, creation of sustainable jobs and ensuring social and economic development has just become more urgent with- and post -COVID-19. Fashion has to deliver”.

The fashion industry and ordinary South Africans are invited to join #Mask67Challenge on Twitter and follow @mask67challenge on Facebook, Instagram and Telegram. You can join the step-by-step process webinar to stitch and donate you own masks. The mask design pattern and the recording of the MASK67 Challenge will remain available online for public on-demand access.


To donate COVID-19 masks and PPE please email


Organisation Profile – Play2Legal NPC

Play2Legal Non-Profit Company (NPC) is a registered Public Benefit Organisation. Rural based, Play2Legal  was founded in 2013  to empower rural youth, women, people with disabilities and previously disadvantaged individuals by unlocking the value of the rural creative industries like fashion design, manufacturing ,distribution and related functions.  The organization’s programmes harness Ubuntu and human rights centered 4th Industrial Revolution opportunities to combat the triple threat of poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. 

The organizational capabilities and past successes include\ using elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution like trend forecasting software and the digital landscape to:

  • ignite conversations that promote fashion as a career field to help rural youth, women and people with disabilities to overcome poverty, unemployment and economic exclusion
  • cultivate fashion entrepreneurship among rural youth through design and manufacturing workshops
  • connect rural youth to showcasing, commercial and business opportunities, both locally and international by initiating contact, facilitating participation and monitoring performance
  • develop authentic, uniquely South African fashion products capable of breaking local designers into international markets
  • facilitate networking, foster commercial and promote collaborative relationships with the Diaspora and the global fashion world.


MASK67 Online Challenge Coordinator on Behalf of Play2Legal

Xolani Zulu, the Chairman of Play2Legal is the co-coordinator of the MASK67 Online Challenge. He is the former interim Managing Director of KZN Fashion Council  has experience in working with government departments and agencies preparing designers for international platforms like the Africa Fashion Week London, Hong Kong Centre Stage, Pure London, Magic Las Vegas, Ghana Fashion and Design Week, and the Swahili Fashion Week.

Play2Legal organizes the fashion element of the Dundee July, the biggest traditional horse race day event by attendances in Northern KwaZulu-Natal . The annually event would have taken place for the 15th year, on the but was cance;;ed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals or companies to donate masks

Organizations in need of masks


If you have masks to donate,please use this directory to find an organization in need,learn about their request and contact them directly.

If you are an organization needing masks,and want to get on the directory,please email us on the following link