Toronto influencer couple started an eco-friendly tie-dye hijab company
A Toronto couple known for their educational content on TikTok and YouTube has taken over the hijab industry with their fun tie-dye patterns.
Will and Sana Saleh are a husband and wife power-duo and a mixed-culture couple who want to educate the world on misconceptions surrounding Muslims and Islam.
Will told blogTO that they strive to open people's hearts and minds with their comedic videos.
"At the end of the day, one of the big reasons why we do this is to humanize Muslim people. Because unfortunately even I, growing up not as a Muslim, definitely vilified Muslims just because of what I had seen through the media," said Will.
In just a year their TikTok channel has gained over 900,000 followers, and they were able to grow their YouTube channel to over 200,000 followers in just a few months.
Now, the pair are also business owners with their company Lala Hijabs. Sana told blogTO that they founded it last August, inspired by the ever so popular tie-dye trend, and have been overwhelmed with its success.
"I remember looking at Will and wondering why there were no tie-dye hijabs. Like, wouldn't that be the coolest thing ever?" said Sana.
So she went through her closet, found an ugly cream-coloured hijab and dyed it with Walmart dyes. The homemade design was so popular with her followers on TikTok that she decided to start a business.
The fun patterns and colours are not the only way their business stands out though. Lala Hijabs claims to be one of the first hijab companies to use sustainable packaging, a decision they made early on.
The first time that they got a bulk shipment of fabric, every single piece was wrapped in plastic. It was so bad that by the end they were surrounded by a massive pile of plastic covering their floor.
"We knew we couldn't let that happen again so we had to do something about it," said Will. "Now when we receive hundreds of pieces, they come in one bag, sometimes even a burlap sack."
The hijabs are hand-dyed by them (sometimes with the help of their two daughters) using non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes. They are then hung to dry, hand-folded and wrapped in eco-friendly tissue paper.
"Although it's more expensive to do it that way, we wanted to invest that extra money to use compostable materials because it's so much better for the environment," said Sana.
Will believes that this is a huge part of why customer response has been so positive. "Once you take out your products you can just chuck the whole package into the compost bin," he said.
Neither Sana nor Will comes from a background of fashion or media, with Sana working in child protection social work and Will in aircraft engineering prior to their digital success.
However, it's safe to say that they have gotten a pretty good handle on their growing platform. They even credit TikTok for changing their life, and without it say they never would have started their business.
"We've had so many people reach out to us daily, just thanking us for clearing misconceptions and showing the human side of Muslims-that we're not the big bad Boogeyman in the room," said Will.
Now as full-time creators and business owners, they have no plans of slowing down. Both Sana and Will aim to continue bringing people of all faiths, backgrounds and orientations together.
Sana stresses that knowledge is power and if someone is teaching something, embrace it with open arms and truly soak it all in.
The Saleh Family
Join the conversation Load comments