London-based Maryam Salam is breaking taboos about being a stylish Hijab wearer and has been helping inspire other women on Muslim beauty, fashion, and modesty with her fashion and lifestyle choices.
I’ve always worked on my faith journey with God and wearing hijab is something I’ve always wished for and prayed about. I believe dressing modestly is one of many steps to get stronger in my faith and closer to God.
The Nigerian blogger who transitioned to modest fashion including discussions around faith and being a hijabi in this millennial generation to her blog admits that adjusting her lifestyle and becoming more intentional about the way she dresses was not an easy one.
I lost my job then due to my choice to wear hijab in the workplace. However, this didn’t stop me, things got better. The more I embrace it, the better things get!
Two years later, Salam is now one of the biggest modest Nigerian fashion influencers and right after bagging a degree in Entrepreneurship & International Business last month, announced her new brainchild Arewa Scarves which doubles as a fashion accessory brand and also a fund-raising platform for the education of the girl child with a portion of every sale going to a charity organisation based in Nigeria.
We caught up with Maryam and she tells us about the inspiration behind Arewa Scarves, why it was important to create that brand and the impactful ways she hopes to change the way hijab-wearing women perceive themselves.
BNS: Tell us about the new brand
Maryam: Arewa Scarves is a social enterprise providing carefully selected and high-quality scarves to suit every skin tones while supporting Girl-child education in Nigeria by donating £1 from every sale to our charity partner Global Hope Integrated Empowerment (an NGO in Nigeria for women and children) executing these aims.
BNS: What is the inspiration behind Arewa Scarves?
Maryam: The desire to make an impact in the community. In my mind, I had a plan to: finish my first degree, then second, then apply for jobs, get a small apartment then start saving to achieve my goals gradually but God had a better plan. After several years of being scared, planning and hesitating (sometimes), I launched a project very dear to my heart and finally, I can embark on this journey that isn’t just about me or for me. Arewa Scarves is more than a fashion brand but we hope it will become a movement/community where we can impact lives while still looking beautiful. It’s about coming together to support a cause: The girl-child and children in general for something we might see as little but impactful (£1 from every sale is donated to support Girl-child, implemented by our charity partners)
BNS: Why was there a need to create this brand now?
Maryam: I am a hijabi and I struggle with finding high-quality scarves that suits me, that’s maybe because I am dark skinned. That’s why Arewa Scarves focus on pieces that enhance skin colour, especially for people of colour.
BNS: Who is your brand targeted at?
Maryam: Our target audience is first young people that believe in our brand promise: “together, we can make a big impact“ and people of colour who love to explore the beauty of scarves. We believe Arewa Scarves is an experience. We want women to feel beautiful, empowered and confident when wearing our scarves.
BNS: What are some plans you have for the brand?
Maryam: To be able to spread our support across different countries and charity organizations in Africa.