Not too long ago, trying to find a long skirt or high top vest took the hijabi nation to the granny fashion aisles at BHS, Evans and other mature high street locations. Finding modest and fashionable clothes for Muslim women – applicable to hijabies and non – used to be virtually impossible.
The big change since then is partly because some of our most-loved high street stores were already starting to introduce loose blouses, long cardis and flowing skirts, all which scream: TRENDY!
City centre landmarks like Oasis, Topshop, Zara, Mango and H&M now offer a wide variety of classy garments of various pastels and palettes allowing Muslim women to enter the modest fashion world with a bang.
That’s not all! Places like Monsoon occasionally release Ramadan and Eid ‘specials’ to cater to those celebrating the festivals. Uni Qlo even teamed up with Brit-Japanese hijabi fashion designer Hana Tajima to launch the LifeWear collection, which includes smart pieces and funky prints.
As well as the good will of including Muslim women into the fashion sphere, Muslims also have massive spending power in Britain that is now being recognised. One report estimates that the Muslim fashion market was worth £100m in 2013 and this is expected to double by 2018.
In addition, Muslim bloggers and fashion models are stepping up to the stage, with 23-year-old Londoner Mariah Idrissi featuring in a H&M advert last year. Sports brands have encouraged inclusivity and sports for all in their campaigns too, while some sporting personalities are designing sports hijabs for women.
Conscious fashion is also gaining traction across the fashion world, where customers are questioning where their garments are coming from: who sources the cotton and how they are made. MADE in Europe, the charity we recently featured at Ummahsonic, has addressed the importance of conscious fashion in a previous campaign called ‘every garment has a name’. They joined organisations, NGOs, trade unions and activists all around the world to mark Fashion Revolution Day in 2014.
It’s no doubt that we chaps are central to the evolution of the fashion world – and now we have a few stylish items in our cupboard to prove it!