British Airways has put out a new uniform collection for the first time in almost 20 years. Muslim women can choose between a hijab and a tunic.
More than 30,000 of its employees will wear the collection, which was designed by fashion designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, starting in the spring of 2023.
Muslims on social media have praised the decision to add an option for more modest clothing.
Poet Asthma Elbadawi said on Twitter, “Adding this option may seem simple, but for many women who wear the hijab, it’s a step toward making them feel more included and welcome.”
Another user, Fariya Abass, said, “I love that the new British Airways uniform now has a hijab option for cabin crew.”
The ideas for the collection came from the people who worked for the airline and their experiences on flights.
Boateng said, “One of my main goals was to make something for and about the people who work at the airline.
“Something that gave them hope and power, made them feel proud to do their jobs, and, most importantly, made them feel like they were seen and heard.
“Even though the airline has a long history, it was important to help create a new story of change and transcendence that was also current.”
In secret tests over the past six months, the airline has tried out the uniform. During the trials, coworkers gave feedback on how well the clothes worked, which led to changes before the rollout.
Sustainability and quality have been at the centre of the process of making uniforms. More than 90% of the clothes are made from recycled polyester blends that are made into sustainable fabrics.
Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said, “Our uniform is an iconic part of our brand that will carry us into the future. It represents the best of modern Britain and helps us give our customers a great service that is uniquely British.”
“This has been about our people from the start. We wanted to make a collection of uniforms that our employees would be proud to wear, and with the help of more than 1,500 colleagues, we think we’ve done that.”