As a Muslim who played school sports growing up, Fatimah Hussein spent as much time thinking about her hijab falling out of place as she did about the game.
“When I was playing sports I always worried about my hijab,” Hussein tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to focus, however, I had to think about which hijab I was going to wear that would not fall down while I was playing. I struggled because I had one more thing to think about instead of focusing on play.”
Years later, when Hussein started working with Muslim girls in athletics, she realized they still were having the same problem — and that it was preventing them from excelling. So she found Jamie Glover, a business student and former college athlete, and together they formed the activewear brand Asiya to design hijabs that provide coverage, wick sweat and actually stay in place.
“Our goal is to eliminate barriers for Muslim girls around the world that prevent them from participating in sports,” Hussein explains. “We are a brand that encourages, empowers and uplifts the girls, so they can focus on playing the game just like their other peers.”
Glover and Hussein collaborated with female students in elementary school through high school on three separate hijab designs, which offer different levels of coverage depending on the wearer’s comfort level.
“We believe that participating in sports have tremendous value for girls — particularly in regards to developing leadership skills that can set them up for success later in life — and believe that modest active wear, such as our sports hijabs, will help enable more Muslim girls to participate in sports,” Glover says.
The hijabs are now in production after an Indigogo campaign raised $38,159, with 153 percent funding. Pre-orders are available, and the company plans to start shipping them in February.
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“We are in the business of building and maintaining resilience in Muslim women athletes around the world,” Hussein says.