New Britain clothing company repurposing T-shirts into masks for homeless

Published on Friday, 24 April 2020 11:08
Written by Ciara Hooks


NEW BRITAIN – Unknown Clothing, a local business in downtown New Britain, is repurposing old Hoops for Homeless t-shirts and turning them into face masks that will be donated to the homeless that are in need.

“What we’re doing since we’re pretty much closed down is to make masks out of materials that we had lying around,” said Maciah Clark, co-owner of Unknown Clothing. “So we have a vintage section in the store and we’re using the vintage T’s or anything that’s 100 percent cotton or anything that’s thick and making masks out of it.”

Among the items were Hoops for Homeless t-shirts from the previous year’s Clark had DJ’d the event.

“So I decided to take some of those shirts and started cutting up the homeless part, hoops for, and some of the sponsors listed, and I was utilizing those to make masks,” Clark said.

Customers are able to buy these masks online and come to the store everyday between 5-8 p.m. for curbside pickup.

“So what we’re doing is if you buy one mask we’ll donate one mask,” Clark said. “We’re asking you to refer somebody you know that’s a first responder or anything like that.”

Adrian Elliott, Hoops for Homeless committee member, saw these masks as she visited the store and decided to provide Clark with more Hoops for Homeless t-shirts she had from two years prior and have him make these masks at a reduced rate. Elliott thought this would be a great way to help those at the Friendship Center, as well as people on the streets who don’t have access to masks.

“Instead of hosting the basketball tournament on Saturday, because we can’t, my plan is to give out as many masks as we can,” Elliott said.

All the masks are handmade by Clark. He is able to make about two masks out of one t-shirt.

“He’s good with sewing and has always made clothes. He has two sewing machines in his shop and he goes in there in the middle of the night and makes masks out of different material,” Elliott said.

Clark also plans to donate the remainder of the masks he’s made over time to the hospital, Friendship Center, EMS and others in need.

“When things die down the ones that people did buy for themselves we have a personal count that we’re going to make a bunch of them off that entire count and then donate them,” Clark said. “We’re always taking donations for fabric; that’s the hardest thing to find out here. It must be washed or new and 100% cotton.”

To donate or for more information contact Maciah at

The annual Hoops for Homeless tournament was scheduled to take place downtown this Saturday. Hoops for Homeless is a three-on-three basketball tournament created to help combat children homelessness in the community.

Ciara Hooks can be reached at 860-801-5082 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 24 April 2020 11:08. Updated: Friday, 24 April 2020 11:10.