OTTAWA – An Ottawa-based entrepreneur has launched a new line for hijabs, turbans, and other gym clothes designed to help Muslim and Sikh athletes overcome struggles they face while working out.
“The fitness industry is marginalized, and a lot of people feel misrepresented by [clothing companies],” personal trainer Sarah Abood told CBC on Monday.
“We wanted to help on a bigger scale. Rather than just giving them home workouts, we wanted to enable them to actually go to the gym and feel comfortable working out, feeling dry and cool.”
Knowing all about the clothing struggles many of her clients with cultural and religious restrictions face while working out, last January Abood launched her new clothing brand, Thawrih company, which means “revolutionary” in Arabic.
Avoiding cotton or latex, which holds in water and sweat, Thawrih’s turbans and hijabs are instead made of a quick-dry material that wicks sweat off the skin.
Since Thawrih’s launch, Abood has shipped products to 10 countries around the world, including the US, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Lebanon.
Employing Syrian newcomers to create her workout clothes, Abood hopes to produce items for Ottawa police officers.
Last month, Chief Charles Bordeleau tweeted that he planned to draft a hijab policy for police officers in uniform. While the current stance is that hijabs are allowed, Bordeleau said he wants the wording in the policy to be more explicit.
Abood said she’s hoping to provide Muslim officers a sporty hijab or turban that will work with their needs and keep them comfortable.