One thing seems pretty clear when we consider the state of our planet, climate change and what we are leaving future generations: While we all must individually do our part to make better, earth-friendly choices in our daily lives, it is that much more important for companies and organizations take the necessary steps to do business in more ethical and sustainable manners.
But what does sustainability in fashion mean
? For all of us at Haute Hijab, it means looking at existing hijab collections and producing them with more sustainable materials and working to put eco-friendly practices at the forefront of any new hijabs and products we bring you. All this takes an immense amount of research, relationship- and partnership-building, product testing and other work from our product team.
Our Ultimate Underscarves
were the first products we created centering sustainability production. Then, Bamboo Wovens was the first existing HH line we were able to shift into a more eco-friendly hijab for you. Following that, we developed our HH Sport collection, in which our designers and product team kept sustainability at the forefront of the textile research and design development process. Then, we partnered with Waste2Wear to bring you Recycled Chiffons. And all of this was prefaced by our Print hijabs, sourced from deadstock fabric, ultimately keeping them from entering landfills.
It’s been quite a journey, and we’re so excited to continue on it! This earth is an amanah (trust) placed up on us, and that is something we take very seriously For our August Edit, let’s look at some of the ways our hijabs are helping us be better stewards of the earth:
So, why did we switch to the Bamboo plant to create our Woven hijabs?
Bamboo as a plant and fiber has several unique and superior characteristics as touted by many in the fashion industry, including breathability, moisture wicking and anti-bacterial properties. However, upon further research from several scientific studies, what bamboo actually does in regards to these characteristics is perform more effectively than cotton or polyester in transferring heat away from the face and head.
Bamboo Woven Hijab
The wovens you know and love, but better. We've upgraded them with a sustainably-processed bamboo woven fabric that feels like soft cotton. It features all of bamboo's powerful benefits including built-in sun protection, breathability, anti-bacterial properties and superior moisture wicking for a fresh, comfortable feeling.
Bamboo has an interesting “pentahedral” or “floral” shape and strong fibers, which seem to contribute to these properties. When compared with cotton, it wicks moisture away more effectively. It also has better UV protection than similar weight cotton jersey material, and many bamboo and bamboo viscose fabrics are successfully certified as UPF 50. It also is shown to collect significantly fewer bacteria than cotton fabric when left out in the same conditions, helping to reduce acne around your face.
Why is this? From our understanding of the research, the floral shape of the bamboo fiber creates a “superior tensile strength and coverage,” and the shape of the fiber and gaps around its exterior create a space in the thread that seems to make it easier to absorb moisture and allow heat to escape the surface of the skin. That was a solid plus for using bamboo as a fiber to create our Woven hijabs
As a raw material, bamboo renews itself extremely quickly – it grows up to four feet a day! – so it easily outperforms other plant-based fibers like cotton (which demands a lot of water and land to grow) and rayon (which is made from wood pulp from slower-growing trees).
How the raw material of bamboo is converted into a fabric that we can use for our Bamboo woven hijab involves a mechanical rather than a chemical process. Read more about it here
Haute Hijab Sport
Creating our HH Sport collection
was one of our most ambitious projects to date, and finding the right material that would be lightweight, moisture wicking and cooling was as important as developing the perfect fits and designs.
FlexFit Sport Hijab
The FlexFit Sport Hijab combines the streamlined ease of a pull-on style with an adjustable interior drawcord that allows you to wear it snug, loose, or anywhere in-between. Groundbreaking S.Café tech fabric offers incredible cooling, odor-repelling, moisture-wicking and breathability benefits you have to feel to believe. Ergonomically designed seaming beautifully frames the face and provides a secure and comfortable fit.
Our sport hijabs needed the right fabric that addressed overheating and sweat while being comfortable against the skin, stretchy and made from a more sustainable material. Haute Hijab Sport is made with S.Cafe fabric, which is fast drying, has odor control, UV protection, can cool down the temperature of a woman's skin (when working out) by 1 to 2 celsius compared to common fabrics and is made out of coffee grounds. More importantly, it’s a circular material, meaning the fabric manufacturer uses waste as a source to make a polymer/fiber that may be used as a fabric.
The company that produces S.Cafe fabric is not only known for its use of coffee grounds but also for the methods used to make the fiber in a way that is safer for the environment. “You have to understand how the material is being produced,” says our former Director of Design and Innovation, Mireia Lopez. “Is it compliant with water usage? Are harmful chemicals being used?
"Our fabric is certified by Bluesign@. As an independent authority, its criteria guarantees the highest degree of assurance to consumers and ensures that the products were manufactured with responsible use of resources and the lowest possible impact on people and the environment," explains Mireia.
The cooling property of the fabric is especially important because, as the design team points out, when you are covered up and exercising, you will sweat and heat up. Hijab-wearing Muslim women know this well. That the Haute Hijab Sport hijabs can cool women 1-2 degrees is what makes it different (among other things) from its competitors. Read more about the sustainability and tech behind HH Sport here
Recycled Chiffon Hijab
Create waves of change by making an impact, one hijab at a time. Produced in partnership with Waste2Wear, our recycled chiffon hijabs are made from 7 - 8 recycled plastic bottles to help reduce our carbon footprint while giving you the same sleek, polished look that's as light, crisp, and easy to care for as our signature chiffons you know and love. Each recycled chiffon comes with its own QR code explaining the origin of the waste, the environmental report of production, and how it is made.
What if there was a way you could help reduce the amount of plastic bottles that eventually make their way into the ocean? What if you could affect waves of change and be a custodian of our earth, as our faith charges us to be, through the kind of hijab you wear? We were intrigued by this idea when we first started researching the concept of creating chiffon hijabs through recycled plastic bottles more than a year ago.
Here’s what’s so cool (and eco-friendly) about these beauties: For every 40” by 40” square Recycled Chiffon Hijab, eight plastic water bottles are used; seven per every 68” by 27” rectangle hijab (four inches shorter than our regular rectangle size as per customer requests). In addition to reducing plastic waste, the production of this hijab uses 70 percent less energy, produces 75 percent less CO2, and uses 86 percent less water than virgin polyester (which is what regular chiffon fabric is made of), according to the Waste2Wear website
Recycled Chiffon + Waste2Wear tag with the QR code.
Each Recycled Chiffon Hijab comes with a unique tag with a QR code; scanning it will show you the origin of the plastic waste that made up YOUR hijab, the environmental report of production and how it is made. Read more about it here
The Quran tells us, “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (2:60
) As we round out our summer and head into the fall, consider refreshing your wardrobe and giving back to the environment by investing in these more sustainably-produced hijabs.