Source: The Guardian
The Scout Association has launched a new clothing range for Muslims in response to an increasing number of girls from the faith joining the organisation.
A “hoodie dress” and a T-shirt dress, both with long sleeves, are to be made available for activities including abseiling and climbing, following requests from the Muslim community.
The knee-length outfits feature a graphic print inspired by Scout badges and activities and are designed by Sarah Elenany, a 27-year-old British designer of Palestinian and Egyptian origin.
The Scout Association – founded in 1907 – said more than a third of all scouts worldwide are Muslim, with an estimated 2,000 Muslim scouts in the UK.
There are about 40 active UK scout groups with a predominantly Muslim membership.
The designs were launched after the association’s last census showed that, for the first time, more girls than boys were joining the movement. Female youth membership has risen 88%, to 66,576, since 2005.
UK chief scout, the adventurer Bear Grylls, said: “With this new clothing range scouting is continuing to move with the times and adapt to the growing number of people from different communities who are choosing to be a part of the movement.
“Scouting has something to offer everyone, no matter your religion, ethnicity or belief, and I’m so proud that we offer an environment for people of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy themselves.”
Syed Miah, national development officer for the Muslim Scout Fellowship, said: “It’s essential to continue to make scouting accessible to all.
“We welcome all communities and this initiative helps to ensure that no one misses out on the numerous benefits and adventure of scouting, because they feel it is ‘not for them’.”
The hoodie dress will be available from Friday with the T-shirt dress due to be ready in time for the summer. Both outfits are designed to be worn over trousers, jeans or leggings.
Chris Foster, spokesman for the Scout Association, said: “There are an awful lot of people out there who still think that scouts are just a Christian-based organisation whereas it encompasses all different faiths.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are or what colour your skin is or what faith you are.”