Nike plans to start selling a hijab for Muslim women early next year.
Nike’s version of the traditional headscarf is designed specifically for women playing sports. It’s made of a lightweight material combined with a single layer of mesh, designed to give athletes “optimal breathability” while remaining completely opaque.
The “Pro Hijab” was featured in an ad for Nike last month that showed Arab women running, boxing, and rollerblading in the street.
Some criticized the ad, saying it portrayed an untrue representation of Muslim women.
“I think this ad was an utter fail,” one woman wrote on the company’s Instagram page, Reuters reported. “We do not wear a hijab and go running in the streets, shame on Nike.”
But according to Nike, the product has been tested by athletes in the Middle East to ensure that it meets cultural requirements.
Nike joins other global fashion brands who have started to embrace Muslim fashion. In February, Uniqlo partnered with fashion designer Hana Tajima to create a collection that includes hijabs for its store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
According to a Thomson Reuters report cited in Bloomberg, Muslim consumer spending on clothing was estimated to be $243 billion in 2015. Muslims currently make up 23 percent of the world’s population, and this number is expected to grow to 29.7 percent by 2050, according to the Pew Research Center.
Watch Nike’s ad here:
Source: Business Insider SG