A pair of Dubai surfers have joined forces to take the awkwardness out of asking others to keep their distance.
A creative way to raise money for charity, Two Metres Please is a clothing collection that politely encourages others to stand back and help limit the spread of Covid-19.
The masks, T-shirts, hats and totes have messages such as “I need my space” and “Better space than sorry”, making it a little easier to keep distance when stepping out for shopping or daily exercise.
The creators, Simon McNally and Ala Lababidi, hope the bright yellow circle on their masks, T-shirts, hats and totes will become a recognisable symbol for social distancing.
“We want this yellow circle to be the icon of social distancing and personal space in general,” said Mr McNally, an interior architect and entrepreneur from Ireland who has lived in the UAE for 16 years.
T-shirts for men and women sell for Dh50, caps for Dh74 and masks for Dh18.
Half of all proceeds will go to a local government-approved charity that focuses on people with special needs.
“Simon and I agreed it’s very important to always give back,” said Mr Lababidi, a Syrian wellness coach who has lived in the UAE for 15 years.
“We can come up with a lot of different ways to engage and have fun doing it.”
All merchandise is locally made and production began when factory hands returned to work.
“Even before the lockdown, there were a lot of people who were still uncomfortable saying, ‘Please keep your distance’,” Mr McNally said.
“They wanted that boundary but felt so awkward in saying it. We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if you had some sort of symbol without having to verbalise it?
"We could do it for charity and have a bit of a fun twist in how we brand it.”
A friend of Mr McNally launched a similar concept in Australia and rather than start over, he and Mr Lababidi decided to build a Dubai chapter of the brand.
It is his first collaboration with Mr Lababidi, a friend and neighbour who shares a lifelong love of charity work.
“How we see and act on life is very similar,” Mr McNally said. “If there’s something new we can do, we’ll give it a shot.”
To buy, visit the website or catch them on Instagram @twometresplease_me .