Wiggle, adidas TERREX and Muslim Hikers have created a bespoke, revolutionary prayer mat specifically for the outdoors, and installed signs pointing to Mecca on the Peak District’s most popular hiking routes.
In an ongoing bid to make the outdoors a more inclusive place, the announcement comes after the Muslim Hikers received racist online abuse following a Christmas Day hike in 2021, and an appearance on BBC’s Countryfile in September 2022 where the group was accused of not being ‘proper walkers’.
Both brands have worked closely with Muslim Hikers to identify the barriers that need breaking down such as facilitating praying in the outdoors, and making the countryside feel like a place that Muslims can enjoy. The creation of the bespoke prayer mats and first-of-their-kind signs will empower more Muslims to get outside and celebrate everything nature has to offer.
Muslims pray in the direction of Mecca up to five times a day, and these groundbreaking signs have been placed along one of the Peak District’s most popular hiking routes, Cave Dale, in a bid to help Muslims more easily incorporate prayer time while exploring the outdoors. The signs will not only point the Muslim community in the right direction of prayer, but also signal to a wider audience that the outdoors is for everyone.
The Prayer Mats
So far, 100 prayer mats have been created and donated to Muslim Hikers as part of the partnership. Further mats will be produced for sale on Wiggle’s website in April 2023 – available for £20 each, with all proceeds going to Wiggle’s charity partners. The prayer mats’ design depicts topography – used on maps to represent contours – and was created in partnership with QM Design; a 7th generation Islamic craftsman.
They have pockets in all four corners, used to insert rocks or weights to keep the mat flat during prayer, can also be rolled into a compact size and are perfect for popping into a bag or rucksack while out exploring. Made using 100% polyester, the mats are lightweight, waterproof, and designed to withstand the elements of the outdoors. Having had to resort to jackets and makeshift alternatives previously, these new prayer mats will allow Muslims to comfortably pray while out hiking.
Haroon Mota, Founder of the Muslim Hikers, said: “Working with Wiggle and adidas TERREX has allowed us to take a huge step in the right direction when it comes to promoting inclusivity in the outdoors. Everyone should feel empowered to get outside and enjoy nature, and the prayer mats and signs have made it easier for us within the Muslim community to do this without having to worry about the practicalities of prayer.”
Huw Crwys-Williams, CEO at Wiggle, said: “At Wiggle, we are committed to making exercise a welcome and inclusive environment for all. We were disappointed to hear reports of abuse that the Muslim Hikers received and back the group’s goal of bringing the community together through hiking. By partnering with the Muslim Hikers and adidas TERREX, we aim to bring awareness to the fact that any form of exercise is for everyone and will strive to improve accessibility for all communities.”
Justin Cader, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at adidas TERREX, said: “adidas TERREX wants to ensure that everyone has access to nature. Our partnership with Wiggle and Muslim Hikers demonstrates our commitment to making the outdoors more inclusive. Through products and activations, we continue our aim to remove the barriers that prevent some people from enjoying the countryside”.
To continue helping under-represented groups get access to the great outdoors, Wiggle has recently partnered with OUTO. The not-for-profit coalition works to provide grants, research, and much needed support in pursuit of making the outdoors more inclusive.