Now that activewear is decidedly en vogue; it seems like almost every brand out there is merchandising so the masses can satisfy their active (or pseudo active) lifestyle. Once synonymous with lazy Sundays and morning jogs, athletic wear is now an aesthetic seen in or out of the gym — and yoga pants mingle with posh staples on the regular. So with all of the available styles, one would assume that every niche has been explored and fulfilled.
This is what Arshiya Kherani thought, but as a woman who wears a hijab, she struggled to find anything that would allow her to be active while keeping her hair covered.
“I grew up playing competitive sports, but in the years since I have started wearing hijab, there have been too many moments when I feel disconnected from what I love,” explained Kherani. “I always have to think twice about how to secure my hijab under a helmet, or what materials are going to keep my head comfortable during a run. Sometimes, I have opted of out of participating in what I love to do entirely because of the anxiety that comes with my lack of options in the realm of athletic apparel.”
Stuck wearing baggy long-sleeved shirts and a bandana to the gym, she searched for untapped fitness resources that catered to women like her — and there were absolutely none. But rather than settling for a wardrobe she wasn’t entirely comfortable in, she started Sukoon Active, a modest activewear line for women like her.
The clothing line features high-performing hajibs and shirts, that are functional, modest and breathable. There are two types of hajibs that secure tightly to the head while remaining cool and breathable for strenuous activity. Their classic shirt is flattering on many different forms and comes in short or long-sleeve designs. Carefully tested and sourced, it is also ethically produced with merino wool and special breathable mesh. The line and its Kickstarter definitely compelled the online masses in 2015, allowing Kherani to triple her $10,000 goal.
With funding complete, there is a lot in store for Sukoon in 2017, including its first round of production. Kherani is looking to expand her team and introduce new designs like leggings, pants, swimwear and accessories. They will also continue to build a professional rapport with other orgs around the world that empower women through sports.
There is an obvious impact of Kherani’s line, spanning far past simply allowing hijab and headscarf wearers a more enjoyable workout. Sukoon Active creates more inclusion within the workout wear world and helps more woman experience every amazing, dopamine-raising aspect of being active. “While we are starting with products geared towards Muslim women, our brand embodies the values of women across several demographics, and we look forward to expanding our brand to be as inclusive as possible,” explains Kherani. “Our number one focus is and will always be the voice of our customer: any woman whose activewear needs are not being addressed by the current market.”
More on Sukoon Active can be found on their Facebook Page.