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Why adidas’s New Full-Cover Swimwear Collection Offers a Lot More Than Modesty

Asma Elbadawi. Photo: Courtesy of adidas

adidas has unveiled its first full-cover swimwear collection offering a wider choice of versatile apparel for women. The range is designed to support the needs of those who find limited choice in swimwear and is informed – via community engagement and global insights – by those who expressed a need for full-coverage swimwear for cultural reasons, or those just looking for greater choice via a broader range of technical apparel to suit their needs in the water.

This is a collection especially needed for Middle Eastern women. A YouGov survey commissioned by adidas this year reveals that only 12% of women surveyed are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shame and lack of privacy are the two main reasons women do not feel comfortable in their swimsuits. Additionally, 59% of women aged 18-42 surveyed in the UAE agree or strongly agree that the “media creates an unattainable body image for female swimmers.”

Photo: Courtesy of adidas

“At adidas we believe that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water. We are constantly looking at ways to diversify our product offering for all women and our Full-Cover Swimwear Collection is rooted in that mentality,” says Sybille Baumann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Swimwear.

Hence, the multi-piece collection includes swimsuits that offer coverage from neck to ankle. This piece features press studs inside the top at hip height and along the outside of the fabric on the legs to connect the two and offer an adjustable fit as required, preventing unnecessary movement of material in and out of the water. It also features thumb holes in the sleeves for optimized fit. In addition, singlets with sleeves, and a swim hijab featuring a specially crafted adjustable inner cap to provide the perfect fit and to prevent it from slipping while swimming complete the collection.

The quick-drying range is made of chlorine-resistant fabric that features Econyl® regenerated yarn as part of adidas’s ongoing commitment towards sustainable design.

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The Beyond the Surface campaign, part of Watch Us Move – adidas’s broader initiative to create more space for women in sport – celebrates the power of water and its ability to defy restrictions, bring renewal, and accept everyone unconditionally. It is fronted by Sudanese-British Asma Elbadawi, basketball athlete, spoken-word poet, and sport inclusivity activist, who created a poem to celebrate her relationship with the water and the confidence it can bring to all women. She is known to have petitioned and succeeded in convincing the International Basketball Association to remove its ban on hijabs and religious headwear in the professional sport.

Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas

“Sport never judges you, that is why we love it, and I am passionate about finding ways to ensure we can provide a level playing field for all,” Elbadawi says. “Sadly, that is not always possible, but gone are the days where sport apparel needs should be a barrier to entry, especially when it comes to being in and around the water. This is a project that is close to my heart, and I am incredibly proud to support a campaign that will remove barriers for women across the world to enjoy swimming.”

Elbadawi will feature in the campaign alongside Lebanese amputee athlete Dareen Barbar, Liuba Novikova, Queen Owie, and Tracey Massoud.

Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas

The 18-strong piece collection will be available from June 10, 2021, on, in black, aqua blue, and burgundy red in sizes 2XS to 2XL. Each item is sold separately and can be combined into one look or used as individual items.

Read Next: The Future of Sport is Her as adidas Puts Women at its Core

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