They only started making masks in Bendigo about three weeks ago, but the city's SisterWorks team has already pumped out hundreds of reusable face masks.
A second wave of COVID-19 restrictions in regional Victorian means the SisterWorks Bendigo hub production and training centre will be out of action.
But plans are in place to continue producing masks, sustaining their makers.
Facing the next stage
A NOT-FOR-PROFIT social enterprise is supporting central Victorian women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to earn and learn by making masks.
The SisterWorks Bendigo hub has produced hundreds of three-layer cloth masks in the past three weeks.
Half of the profits from mask sales go to their makers.
SisterWorks Bendigo hub leader Ginny Tan estimated the number of masks made locally as part of the initiative at up to 500.
Roughly 30 volunteers and 30 'sisters' are involved in Bendigo.
Some are learning to make masks from scratch. Others are already capable of making up to 100 a week.
The SisterWorks initiative has its roots in Melbourne.
The Bendigo hub became operational last year, but only moved to full-time activities in February.
COVID-19 restrictions came into force the following month.
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Enhanced restrictions mean the SisterWorks Bendigo production and training centre will close again from Thursday.
The Bendigo hub received about 120 masks from its Melbourne sisters in response to recent demand.
Ms Tan hoped the masks would sell before the local volunteers and sisters had to start working from home.
Efforts were already underway to ease the transition for the women, including sorting out materials.
Ms Tan said the demand for reusable cloth face masks, combined with the opportunity to work remotely, had women thinking about their involvement in SisterWorks differently.
"This is now becoming more than just a supplementary job for them," she said.
SisterWorks Bendigo would also be making self-care material and classes available online for its volunteers and sisters.
"The second lot [of restrictions] is going to be tough on quite a lot of people," Ms Tan said.
She said it was important the women were seen as part of the Bendigo community.
Masks sell for $18 each. They are available online at sisterworks.org.au/product-category/reusable-face-masks/.
Masks will also be sold at the Bendigo Visitor Centre until 4pm on Wednesday.
Ms Tan recommended people call ahead. Mask sales are capped at two per person.
People can email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest in ordering more than 10 masks.