This Innovative Hijab Keeps Muslim Women Athletes Cool

Veil’s Cool Dry headscarf is not only climate-controlled, it’s also waterproof.

A new apparel company called Veil is trying to make life easier for Muslim women athletes who wear the headscarf. Their debut product is called the Cool Dry, a headscarf that is not only waterproof, but also promises to be climate-adaptable. The scarf is equipped with cooling technology that reflects heat rather than absorbing it, keeping the fabric seven to 10 degrees Farenheit cooler than the outside temperature. As a bonus perk, the scarf is laser-cut, which means the edges won’t chafe with excessive movement.

“Athletic companies have been producing weather performance gear for years now,” they explain on their site. “Firefighters and astronauts have specially crafted suits to help them overcome the roughest conditions. Now this trend is moving to business wear. Technology in clothing is changing the apparel industry forever, and we believe that women who wear the hijab need it too.”

There is a very real demand for faith-compliant sportswear. In recent years, Muslim women athletes have been fighting back against policies that prohibit their hijabs. In 2014, the Qatar women’s basketball team was forced to forfeit the Asian Games because their scarves violated the sporting event’s policies against headgear. And it wasn’t long after that that Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir was prevented from playing overseas because FIBA, too, has policies against wearing headgear on the court. But some gains have been made on this front: just last year, FIFA lifted their highly contentious ban on headscarves, a policy that prevented Muslim women who wear the hijab from participating in the international soccer matches.

Some sportswear designers have started to design athletic headscarves that cling close to the face and neck in order to make them more comfortable for strenuous physical activity, and compliant with FIFA’s new standards. Some Muslim athletes have even taken the matter into their own hands. But there is still a high demand for better, more functional designs. It’s evidenced by the Kickstarter campaign for VEIL, which has already recieved six times its funding goal of $5,000.

via Michael Belanger / Flickr

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