Protective personal equipment has been a major issue for hospitals around the world as they battle the coronavirus outbreak.
Many frontline workers have had to rely on donations or source their own.
But standard face masks don’t tend to cater to those who wear headscarves or other religious coverings.
So American-Somali model Halima Aden has used her fashion skills to create face masks for hijabi frontline workers.
The 22-year-old has teamed up with fashion startup Anywhere to design alternatives to N95 masks that allow easy use for anyone with a hijab.
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The model was delighted for the opportunity and bought her first-hand experience of working in a hospital as a cleaner to the role.
It’s not Halima’s first stint in fashion design as the influencer has also created headscarves in collaboration with Turkish modesty brand Modanisa.
Halima’s new designs come as a report shows that the coronavirus risk is higher for ethnic minorities.
For her collection, Halima designed easy-to-use masks that turbans and hijabs can integrate seamlessly into.
‘I wanted something that would bring joy to the patients and the healthcare workers,’ she told Vogue.
‘When it came time to design the sets, I chose shades that I associate with peace instead of the standard white; colours that just made me feel good looking at them. Ease of wear was also essential.
‘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.’
Halima says she understands the importance of sanitation, having cleaned hospital rooms prior to becoming the world-renowned model she is today.
At the time, Halima struggled to pin protective masks to her hijab and would need to use lots of pins to keep them in place.
So in her own designs, Halima added strings and a button for easy use.
You can shop the range on the Anywhere website where the creators will send a mask to a frontline worker for every purchase made.
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