Two friends joined forces to launch a new business venture after experiencing sartorial challenges during their pregnancies.

Huma Hamid and Amina Qayyum launched Ummi Clothing after they struggled to find suitable maternity wear.

The duo from Manchester speak about the inspiration behind their business and the expansion of modest fashion.

Amina said, “During my pregnancy I struggled to find maternity clothing that comfortably adapted to the changes in my body size. Mostly maternity garments are designed to closely fit the new body shape, often emphasising the bust and abdominal area.

"I didn’t want to disguise my baby bump, but I didn’t want the clothes to cling to me either. 

“Due to the lack of maternity wear, I found myself often sizing up in regular clothing. 

“Huma hit the nail on the head by recognising the gap in the market. 

“There is huge need for modest, fashionable attire to dress the bump.” 

Huma said the lack of modest nursing clothes in the high street led her to take matters into her own hands and custom make her clothes.

Huma said, “I have breastfed all three of my children. Throughout my pregnancies and breastfeeding stages, I struggled a lot with finding suitable maternity and nursing clothes.

“I found that nursing clothes were not modest at all. They would cling to your body which as a new mum with the mum tum made me very self-conscious. 

“I used to buy dresses and then cut them down the middle and hand stitch buttons and zips on.

“I knew it was finally time to put my frustrations and the frustrations of many other women into action.”

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The pair set about designing a collection specifically focusing on style, comfort, modesty and practicality for mothers-to-be and new mums, seeing the seamless segue of the launch of Ummi Clothing.

The range, as seen on Instagram at @ummi_clothing, includes affordable casual wear, formal clothing and holiday outfits.

Dressing during and after pregnancy Amina said should be “an expression of confidence,” something they hope to inspire in their customers. 

“Maternity wear and new mum fashion has changed drastically over the years. In the past,women would hide their bumps in frumpy and unfashionable clothing. 

“Women today want to carry on dressing as they would normally.  Being pregnant shouldn’t mean you have to compromise your style. 

“Our range compliments the current high street fashion trends whilst catering for women who want to adopt a more modest aesthetic.

“One of our aims has been affordability. We alongside many other women didn’t want to invest heavily in maternity and nursing wear as it’s a temporary state. 

“We tried to create clothing which can adapt with a woman from bump to baby by introducing belts, waist and sides ties which can be adjusted throughout the different stages.”

Huma said by injecting their own experiences into their range, the collection resonates more personally with their customers.

“I once remember attending a wedding a few weeks after having my first child and she was exclusively breastfed. 

“Trying to feed her in the hot weather in the corner of a room without exposing myself was such an emotional struggle.

“I ended up taking myself off to toilet and taking off my whole dress to feed her and I felt so frustrated.

“As all new mums know, there is nothing worse than a hungry baby and a flustered mum working hard to undo lots of buttons in a rush to feed her baby.

“This is why our nursing clothing range has access either from the sides to a zip straight down the middle or directly under the bust line. One of our objectives is to accommodate the different needs of nursing mums as each mum likes to nurse in a way which suits her best.

“One of the other major issues I find is the lack of maternity and nursing clothing within the south Asian community. I feel that the Asian community is let down in this particular area by the Asian fashion industry.

“Our next goal is to focus on making south Asian clothing more maternity and nursing friendly.”