Since the beginning of the pandemic, the shortage of protective personal equipment has proved to be a major problem. The situation improved when various designers and private organizations combined their efforts to produce additional supplies. However, one problem persisted—standard face masks usually don’t cater to people who are wearing hijabs or other religious coverings. So this American-Somali model drew from her experience in the field of fashion to create face masks for hijab-wearing frontline workers.

More info: Anywear

22-year-old model Halima Aden has designed an alternative to N95 masks for hijab-wearers

Image credits: Anywear

Halima Aden, a 22-year-old American-Somali model, has teamed up with fashion startup Anywear to craft alternatives to N95 masks for people who wear hijabs. Since Halima herself used to work as a cleaner in a hospital, she was more than glad for the opportunity to bring her first-hand experience to the design process.

The model has teamed up with fashion startup Anywear for the project

Image credits: Anywear

The model already has some experience in designing pieces—Halima has also designed headscarves in collaboration with Turkish brand Modanisa. This time, she was eager to design protective face masks, as the coronavirus crisis showed that the risk of death is higher for ethnic minorities.

Halima’s designed set of hijab and a face mask sells for $45

Image credits: Anywear

Talking to Vogue, Halima said that she “wanted something that would bring joy to the patients and the healthcare workers.” For this reason, she steered clear of the color white. “When it came time to design the sets, I chose shades that I associate with peace instead of the standard white; colors that just made me feel good looking at them.”

She drew inspiration from her own first-hand experience

Image credits: Anywear

For the designer of the masks, ease of wear was also one essential thing. “This is giving people the tools to feel comfortable and do their job to the best of their ability. There are so many hijabi women working in healthcare, and their comfort is as important as anyone else’s in the workforce.”

As Halima used to work in a hospital as a cleaner and would struggle with pinning her face mask to the hijab

Image credits: Anywear

Having cleaned hospital rooms for a living before becoming an international model, Halima says she understands the importance of sanitation. At the time, she herself struggled with pinning protective masks to her hijab. Therefore, in her own designs, she added strings and a button for easy use.

You can buy the face masks on the Anywear website, where they sell for $45. The creators say that they will send a mask to a frontline worker for every purchase made.

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