A Garden City teen has been raising money for charities by making and selling reusable face masks that contain organic, sustainably harvested seaweed.
Lucas Randell, a sophomore at Chaminade High School in Mineola, has raised more than $1,400 since the fall through mask sales to benefit the nonprofit No Kid Hungry and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group.
The double-layered masks are made from SeaCell fiber, a material that is carbon neutral, biodegradable and manufactured using methods that save energy and resources, Randell said. He said it also has antibacterial qualities and is rich in vitamins and minerals that can soothe and soften skin.
"I started thinking how all of these face masks are going to end up in landfills, so I thought it would be a good idea to start making face masks out of this algae material," Randell said.
Randell, 15, got the idea from an online class focused on the fashion industry through The School of The New York Times where he learned that some companies create environmentally friendly textiles from ocean matter. He then obtained SeaCell fiber from a retailer in Germany and began selling the masks for $10 each through the Instagram page @seamaskofficial.
Randell is a member of his school's General Student Organization, Parish Religious Education Program, and business and social studies clubs. He is also a black belt in taekwondo