CALGARY -- Face masks, while practical during a pandemic, are also emerging as a top fashion trend.

Many Canadian designers are putting their own spin on face coverings, creating masks that are both fashion forward and functional.

Some of the creations have even come from local designers like Paul Hardy. He says he opted for bold colours and patterns with his unique line of personal protective equipment (PPE).

"It's a lot of vibrant prints and I think, right now, people right now are eager to wear colour because the times are sort of depressing," Hardy told CTV News.

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The masks are made from traditional, printed Kitenge cloth from Africa. Hardy's designs also have a charitable component. With each mask purchased, one will be donated to someone in Rwanda and the proceeds from sales will also go towards Hopethiopia/Rwanda.

"It’s been nice to create something that serves a purpose but also has a fashionable aspect to it. I felt a lot better about being able to sell a utilitarian product in the midst of a crisis in a way that benefited other people."

House of Nonie designer Nina Kharey started out making masks for hospitals by retooling her factory and using leftover fabric. She adds the opportunity allowed her to keep her employees on the payroll.

"I needed some of my girls still working and the factory doors to stay open, so I decided I’ll join in on the fight against COVID-19 and start making masks," said Kharey.

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She’s tweaked the design to now include three different sizes, prioritizing quality and the regular Nonie client’s 'simple' style.

"I really wanted to make sure they actually did their job and protected people. We got our hands on spunbond material that is actually used in operating rooms. When I was designing these masks I wanted them to be lightweight, comfortable and also make the wearer feel good wearing them."