Most of us might be ignorant of this, but have you ever realised that our female muslim friends do not enjoy the same convenience of earphones as we do?
That’s due to the limitation of their hijab, the veil that covers their head and chest, also known as tudung in Malay.
It’s an uncomfortable process for them to put on earphones – they either have to slide them under their scarves, or tuck it from the side of their scarves. The same goes for female muslim doctors using the stethoscope.
As with all great inventions that solve day-to-day problems, Adlina Anis came up with a brilliant solution.
The Ninja Echo was inspired by Adlina’s interest in keeping fit. However, she had a problem listening to music as her hijab didn’t accommodate earphones.
The Ninja Echo has a patent-pending flap that maintains modesty and allows the wearer to use earphones comfortably. This new design allows the wearer to put on the earphones without any awkwardness.
On top of that, Ninja Echo is also perfect for female muslim fitness enthusiasts who exercise regularly and listens to music on the go.
“Muslim women also want to be able to enjoy sports like running, but there is no product that allows them to do so in a modest way. Or at the very least not look awkward while doing so.”
“I’ve had that problem many times myself when I go for a run. I want to have easy access for my earphones so that I can take them off or put them on easily,” Adlina shared with Vulcan Post.
Through ‘portals’, women plug their ear while still covering up the skin.
Ninja Echo was hugely successful, selling out all 100 of it stock upon launch in January 2016. And by March, her brand was already on its fifth batch, which was significantly larger than 100.
From Idea To Design To Manufacturing To Sales
To bring her idea to life, Adlina ran their initial pilot introduction of a few hundred pieces within 24 hours of launching.
All production were handled in her own workshop as she wanted to control the product quality.
An alumna of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design, Adlina Anis has always loved fashion. Graduating with a Diploma in Apparel Design & Merchandising, she immediately started her illustrious career as a fashion assistant for magazines such as August Man, L’Officiel and Prestige.
She later worked full-time as a fashion stylist at the Singapore version of Italian magazine, Amica. This enabled her to accumulate design experience which would later lead her to starting her own fashion label.
“This exposed me to the designers themselves and it got me to see how things are actually made,” she said in another interview.
“I was also involved with many photo shoots, where I learned from the best. Because of this I now know exactly what I want with my designs and how I want it to be done.”
The Ninja Echo is made of airy and stretchable material, and future plans include diversifying material and colours.
“We would love to make this available in every colour and material from the get go. But I run my own workshop, so we produce at quantities where we can manage a higher level of execution,” shared Adlina during the interview.
“We expanded our production facility and have 6 man full-time production team. I also have a material sourcing team and storage.”
Difficult Patenting Process
The road hasn’t been all smooth and easy for Adlina though, especially with the patenting process.
“The patenting process is really difficult but I totally understand how important it is to protect your intellectual property.”
“We had to go through a whole year of designing to come up with a final design that ticked the boxes of usability and comfort.”
“Patents registration requires a patent attorney to help guide you on your application as you want to be able to file your application at one go. It is safe to say that the process is already ongoing and is rather laborious.”
“Cost-wise we were informed that it could be anywhere from SGD $2,000 – $6,500 dollars, and we would only find out upon completion of the process.”
Of course, that didn’t stop Adlina from helping all female muslims look great, as well as bringing convenience to those who might need an earphone friendly hijab.