The modest-fashion market continues to expand, albeit gradually. Mass-market retailers have gotten in on the action, producing the likes of Mango's Ramadan collection and Uniqlo's ongoing collab with modest-fashion blogger Hana Tajima. Even luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana are (more slowly) wising up to this underserved customer base. But when it comes to modest clothing intended for sweatier pursuits, while there are some startup brands, there's still a lot to be desired. Asiya, a forthcoming line of sportswear hijabs, is hoping to change that. The idea was birthed at a community center in Minneapolis, where one of Asiya's cofounders, Fatimah Hussein, has worked for the past decade on getting local Muslim girls involved with sports. "As the girls gained self-confidence and a love of sports, they wanted athletic uniforms that let them be active while upholding their religious and cultural beliefs," Hussein's cofounder, marketer and MBA student Jamie Glover, told Refinery29 of the line's impetus. Hussein worked with the University of Minnesota in 2015 on prototype uniforms for the community center's Muslim girls to wear. A Kickstarter campaign for activewear hijabs soon followed, with the intention of bringing modest sportswear far beyond Minnesota. "Our mission is to enable physical activity and sports participation among Muslim girls and women," Glover said. "We believe that clothing can represent your beliefs and who you are as a person, and that clothing should enable your endeavors — not be a barrier."
The goal, design-wise, was to create traditional headscarves that absorb sweat, don't limit range of motion, and, oh, feel comfortable while you're hitting the turf or track. "We decided to develop three styles, based on different levels of modesty," Glover said of the brand's trio of hijab silhouettes, dubbed Lite, Fit, and Sport. Finding the right fabric was key, too: It had to be "sweat-wicking and breathable, but also extremely lightweight, stretchy, and soft," Glover explained. "We focused on a pull-on design so that it could be secured without pins and would not have excess fabric that could be snagged or grabbed while playing sports." The hijabs will be priced at $30 to $40 and will be available in four colors and two sizes (a youth and an adult size). Asiya is slated to launch in March 2017, but you can pre-order now on the brand's Indiegogo page, which has raised over $38,000 for the launch thus far. Even if you're not in the market for a sweat-wicking hijab, you can pitch by sponsoring an athlete or just donating to Asiya's launch here.