Athletic apparel, business wear, and firemen suits all have technology incorporated in their clothing so wearers stay cool, dry and comfortable. But what about hijabis? Muslim women who wear the headscarf everyday no matter how blistering hot it is outside – what’s available for them?
Nothing, really. Until now.
Meet Ahmad Ghanem, a 22-year-old business major and entrepreneur from Cleveland, Ohio, who wanted to make a change for covering Muslim women, who he believes are the most deserving of climate adaptive clothing. Ahmad recently founded Veil and created the world’s first ever “Cool Dry” hijab, which has water repelling and cooling technologies.
“Although I am a guy I do feel like I connect with the hijab on a certain level because it is worn by my mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins, and all of my sisters in Islam and I see how difficult it can be for them at times,” Ahmad shares.
“I’m the type of person to fix a problem when I see it arise, so when I got the idea for Veil I didn’t think twice about it. I do think it’s something that’s needed and has the potential to advance on a much larger scale in the near future, but I’m happy to just finally have planted the initial seed and I can’t wait to see it grow.”
The Veil “Cool Dry” hijab claims to be waterproof and cooling. It’s been in the making for a year and a half after Ahmad tested out hundreds of fabrics.
“The exterior of the scarf is composed of a durable water repellent that simply keeps your hijab dry at all times when it rains. This technology causes water to bead up upon impact, preventing it from making its way through the fabric,” Veil’s website explains.
The cooling technology of the “Cool Dry” hijab is probably what’s most impressive. While “ordinary dark colored fabrics absorb up to 90% of heat rays,” the Veil hijab claims to “reflect up to 80% of heat rays and keep the fabrics up to 7-10 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler.”
The hijab is made of sheer nylon fabric, which means it wrinkles less. It is also laser cut, sweat wicking and made entirely in the USA.
With all these benefits and more, it’s no wonder Veil’s month long Kickstarter campaign succeeded with flying colors. Ending on June 20, 2015, a whopping $39,221 was raised, far surpassing the original $5,000 goal. 883 people, including non-Muslims, backed up the campaign, which gained traction on news sources like New York Times, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and was a Kickstarter Staff Pick.
“The publicity our Kickstarter project received was honestly amazing and it couldn’t have played out better than it did,” Ahmad says.
Currently, Veil has $50,000 in preorders, translating to about 2,500 hijabs. Veil “Cool Dry” hijabs cost $19 and are available in the following three colors: Black, Bright White, and Silver Lake Blue. They are 63” in length x 24” in width; a size increase of 7” was added to the width due to popular demand.
Customers still haven’t gotten their hands on their Veil hijab yet, but are expected to soon. “Due to the large amount of orders we received our manufacturing schedule was pushed back and now we’re hoping to ship them out by October at the latest,” Ahmad states.
The Veil team, a small duo consisting of only Ahmad and his assistant Shorou, have come a long way considering that the clothing industry is new to them. They have big plans for the future and are thinking of products like swimwear and suits, but are remaining secretive about what’s really in store for the future.
“Everyone will have to wait to see what is up our sleeves,” Ahmad shares. “We want to make sure we’re as prepared as possible before making our next move. Our main focus right now is to get these hijabs into the hands of our supporters as soon as possible.”
One thing’s for sure, however, and that’s the continuation of bringing innovative, technologically driven products that foster change.
“I want Veil to become the Nike of Islamic-wear,” Ahmad states. “Our mission is to continue to innovate, revolutionize and change the way people see the hijab.” For Ahmad and Veil supporters, the “Cool Dry” hijab is more than just a new hijab in the market. It’s a message that Muslim women who cover can go out and accomplish whatever they want, with nothing holding them back.