How Product Design Help Culture Exchange and Communication-Decathlon’s Running Hijab
New meaning will developed from the original cultural meaning of a product through the communication and exchange of culture.
The Muslim population accounts for 24% of the world, but people know little about their culture. Comparing to other cultures, its unique values maintained relatively traditional due to the speed and depth of cultural exchanges. Conservative attitude caused low acceptance of foreign cultures and it also pushed other cultures away.
Product development aiming a certain culture not only provides rich options for users of the culture, but also allows users of other cultures to understand the culture through products.
In addition to new products, product development, expand the market of existing products through design. In this case, design new types of hijab expand the market from garments and clothes to the field of sport. The fusion of different cultures and different uses make hijab less religious.
As a matter of fact, Decathlon is not the first brand that launched sportswear for Muslim women. Nike introduced similar products in 2017, still selling in France. Uniqlo also cooperated with Hana Tajima to design a series of casual hijabs.
Interestingly, after the launch of Uniqlo, non-Muslim consumers are attracted to these products. For these consumers, a piece of hijab is not bondage of women, but exotic ethnic style clothing. Yes, a hijab is a way of life rather than and a piece of clothes. By introducing these products to people who don’t lead these kinds of live; people can learn to appreciate hijab culture.
Through the products that carrying culture, the dissemination of culture is promoted, and the once conservative culture will be transmitted and be understood better. If the Islamic culture changed as time went by like the Christian culture, like the cross necklaces become ornaments or jewelries, a hijab may also become an accessory.
Perhaps one day, regardless of country, race, or religion, no one will look at a woman who does not wear hijab, so the oppression and restrictions of hijab will no longer exist. Not just Islamic culture, for all non-mainstream cultures under globalization and the Western world, designing products to convey their own culture to through economy system.
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