Nike is capitalizing on a massive market most retailers ignore (NKE)

Mary Hanbury
Nike Hijab

Nike

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, intended to give athletes "optimal breathability" while remaining opaque, Nike says.

The Pro Hijab was featured in an ad for Nike last month that showed Muslim women running, boxing, skateboarding, and doing other activities.

Some criticized the ad, saying it was 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 it meets cultural requirements.

Nike joins other global fashion brands that have started to embrace Muslim fashion. In February 2016, Uniqlo partnered with the fashion designer Hana Tajima to create a collection that included hijabs.

According to a Thomson Reuters report cited by Bloomberg, Muslim consumer spending on clothing was estimated to be $243 billion in 2015. Muslims currently make up 23% of the world's population, and that is expected to increase to 29.7% by 2050, according to Pew Research Center.

Watch Nike's ad:

Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/9BAeEbz_TVE
Width: 560px
Height: 315px

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