Scouts back Muslim girl clothing

Scouts Designer Sarah Elenany says the new uniform is more practical

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Girl scouts are being offered a new range of clothing, following requests from Muslim scout members.

The range was designed to ensure Muslim girls felt comfortable without being restricted and includes "hoodie" and T-shirt dresses".

Both are knee-length, and include print graphics inspired by scout badges and the spirit of adventure.

Around 600 Muslim girls are expected to benefit, although the range is being made available to all girl scouts.

British designer Sarah Elenany, 27, from London, created the new range out of her fashion label Elenany.

She said she aimed to make them fun to wear, so that youngsters would relax while doing activities.

"I wanted the scouts to be really involved in the design process - the girls told me what they wanted to wear and what issues they had with the existing range," she said.

'Something different'

The range aims to highlight how the scouts are modernising, increasing diversity and responding to members.

Aamena Ismail, 12, a scout from London, said: "This dress hoodie is a fantastic idea. As a Muslim girl in scouting I feel more comfortable in it, but it's still practical and I can even wear it abseiling.

Scouting

  • Scout Association founded 1 August 1907
  • Over 200 activities offered by scouting
  • Run by 90,000 voluntary adult leaders
  • More volunteers needed, with 33,500 young people on waiting lists
  • Scout leaders contribute 37m hours of voluntary work every year
  • 28m members worldwide

"It's stylish enough to wear outside scouting too, and I love how you can see different activities within the design. It's something different and a brilliant idea."

There are already around 2,000 Muslim scout members.

UK Chief Scout 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."

Around 40 UK scout groups have a predominantly Muslim membership.

The Scout Association's last census also showed that for the first time, more girls than boys are joining the movement, with an 88% rise in female youth membership since 2005 to 66,576.

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