Happy International Women’s Day, y’all – here’s some awesome news to celebrate.
Nike announced today that they’re making their very first hijab designed exclusively for sports performance, called the ‘Nike Pro Hijab’.
It will be made out of a breathable, lightweight fabric that will keep the athlete cool and dry while they tear it up on the athletic track, gym or sports field.
In a statement, Nike said,
“As each country has its own particular hijab style, the ideal design would need to accommodate variances.
…The brand also solicited the opinions of advocates and local communities to ensure the design met cultural requirements.”
This is pretty awesome news for a few reasons.
Firstly, Muslim athletes (such as figure skater Zahra Lari and weightlifter Amna Al Haddad) have traditionally had to compete in hijabs made of fabrics like cotton which aren’t really great for intense exercise because they get hot and sweaty.
The new power-mesh polyester fabric is stretchy, breathable and wicks away moisture – ensuring the athlete’s heads are cool, dry and have a big range of motion.
Secondly, sports aren’t typically seen as the domain of Muslim women – having a product on the market that shows these athletes as, well, athletes, goes a long way to breaking down these stereotypes and hopefully inspiring greater participation from the next generation.
Thirdly, it just makes sense from a finanial perspective for Nike.
23 per cent of the world’s population is Muslim and the sports industry in the Middle East is growing rapidly.
By being the first-mover in this area, Nike’s positioned itself very cleverly to take advantage of this immense market opportunity.
(Capitalism, hey – it’s not all bad!)
The Nike Pro Hijab is expected to drop in 2018.