Keen may be known best for its footwear, but the Portland-based brand is continuing fashion's call to action during the pandemic by introducing face mask vending machines in the United States and abroad.
The first three vending machines in the U.S. have been placed in the company's hometown, as well as Palo Alto, California. Worldwide, the count is at five with additional vending machines in London and Tokyo. Keen says it plans to roll out more contact-free sources for masks over the next few months in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan.
"We launched the 'Wear Masks, Love Others' campaign in April because wearing masks is one of the simplest and most effective ways to address the pandemic as individuals and a community,” Erik Burbank, Keen’s chief brand officer, said in a release. "As people continue to venture out, we looked for ways to make high quality, washable and comfortable masks readily available. Vending machines seemed like a convenient option to give 24-hour shopping access to our fans, in a safe, contact-free environment. We’re excited to see this go from concept to reality."
Featuring artwork from Jerry Garcia — Each vending machine is stocked with three kinds of masks: solid colors ($14), tie-dye ($16), and ones featuring artwork from the late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia ($20). The latter option comes as Deadhead attire continues its run of popularity in fashion and is a companion to the Keen sandals also featuring Garcia's artwork.
For those who don't yet have access to Keen's vending machines, all of the masks are also available through the brand's website. They come in two sizes, XS-S and M-L.
Earlier on in the pandemic, Keen donated 250,000 masks to essential workers.
Where they at? — The vending machines can be found outside of Keen's Garage stores in both Portland, Oregon, and Palo Alto, with an additional one placed inside one of the food pods on the east end of Portland. In London, the contact-free source is in Coal Drops Yard, while the Tokyo machine is outside of Atmos Ginza.
Hopefully, we'll see Keen's vending machines in more U.S. cities sooner than later. It's a convenient option for the most necessary accessory of the year and could come in handy when you need a new mask right away. Just don't be surprised if the Garcia masks are scooped up quickly.