In a world that is becoming increasingly comfortable with anti-Muslim rhetoric, Nike has chosen a different path of inclusivity.
One of the world’s biggest sportswear brands is choosing to stand with Muslim women with the imminent release of their all-new Pro Hijab designed for Muslim female athletes.
This recent move towards the Pro Hijab comes after the brand recently launched its plus-size sportswear range for women. All these new lines are passing along the message that Nike is working towards being more inclusive of all athletes and sports lovers around the world.
The news about the Pro Hijab was revealed in a statement from Nike:
“The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport … This movement first permeated international consciousness in 2012, when a hijabi runner [Sarah Attar] took the global stage in London.”
Nike’s hijab is made of a breathable, lightweight, sport-ready fabric meant to keep the athlete wearing it cool and dry. The release date is expected to be sometime early next year.
It will be a big deal for female Muslim athletes who have in the past competed in sports attired in traditional hijabs that were not especially ideal for working out. Nike’s Pro Hijab makes a number of adjustments to make the attire more comfortable.
Nike made their hijab in a single layer of the mesh, adding an elastic binding that lets the wearer adjust the hijab to her head and her sport. The brand also made their hijab long to avoid it becoming untucked during activity.
Nike spokesperson Megan Saalfeld explains that the idea of creating an athletic hijab came after Emirati female Olympic weightlifting athlete Amna Al Haddad visited Nike’s Sport Research Lab. Working with Haddad and some other athletes, Saalfeld says that they garnered that women were looking for a lightweight and breathable solution that would stay in place without concern of shifting.
The Pro Hijab not only works to increase Nike’s inclusivity cred, it will also make the company the largest player in the market for performance hijabs, which has only just started to emerge in recent years.