Sukoon activewear challenges the norm by introducing hijabs and tops that are trendy, functional and modest.
About this project
The Sukoon Signature Collection introduces activewear that should have always been part of the norm: trendy, functional and modest activewear that includes headscarves and shirts that any woman can feel excited about.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt unprepared or uncomfortable because you weren’t dressed appropriately? Think: going on a vacation with friends and planning a hike, only to remember you forgot your sneakers; or walking into your new job on ‘casual Friday’, wearing a suit.
As someone who wears hijab, I probably think more about what I’m going to wear than the average person. And that is in large part because the marketplace doesn’t reliably offer a whole lot of options for people who dress like me. Like many of you, I am an urban millennial juggling my job, friends and family, and undying love for fitness and being outside. I am always on the prowl for lots of lightweight and versatile layers of varying styles to get me through seasons and trend cycles.
While I’ve learned to embrace layering in my day-to-day wardrobe, as you can imagine – this isn’t a strategy that works well for activewear.
Until last year, I used to wear frumpy long sleeved shirts at the gym and a bandana to cover my hair. Why? Because traditional athletic wear brands consistently overlook consumers with my cultural and religious background. As a result, that paralyzing feeling of unpreparedness has haunted me through every workout, taking my focus off the goals ahead of me, and toward the sub-par activewear I couldn’t wait to change out of. I never realized that I deserve more than that until a friend asked me if I had ever tried making my own workout hijab.
And that’s how Sukoon came about.
Sukoon is not just another activewear line – it is a movement that represents a generation of women creating solutions that move beyond the options that are presented to us.
The Classic Hijab – This is – by no surprise – our classiest athletic hijab. A fully adjustable merino wool under-cap is sewn into a mesh outer-layer. The under-cap stays put on the hair, and the textured mesh outer-layer creates a modern aesthetic that also wicks away sweat and allows additional ventilation. Both the under-cap and outer-layer can be secured and adjusted with velcro.
This hijab provides the perfect amount of neck and hair coverage, and can be neatly tucked into the neckline. Whether you’re just going for a casual run or a strenuous hike, this hijab will keep you cool, covered and comfortable.
The Up-Do Hijab – This is the *Founder Favorite*! Similar to The Classic Hijab, a fully adjustable merino wool under-cap is sewn into a mesh panel. However, unlike The Classic Hijab, its unique design is secured with velcro at the base of the hairline, and then is further adjustable for your exact comfort with an additional tie. The textured mesh panel wraps around the cap to create the modern aesthetic of a head-wrap, and is secured with velcro.
This hijab is ideal for any work-out, but is highly preferred for high-intensity workouts like running, spinning, and kick-boxing. It doesn’t budge and gives your neck some breathing room.
The Classic Tee* – Offered in both short and long-sleeves, this shirt is everything you could ever want in a workout tee. It’s lightweight and comfortable, and yet is durable enough to withstand the hardest workouts.
It’s comprised of premium quality merino wool and high-performance mesh which allow for maximum breathability. The mesh panels are strategically placed under the arms, along the sides of the shirt, and along the center of the back to allow for additional ventilation where you sweat the most.
The A-line silhouette complements every body type, and the the slightly U-shaped drop-tail hem gives you a little extra coverage, right where you need it.
*The long-sleeved tee also features an under-arm gusset which allows for increased range of motion.
The Signature Bag – This is the ultimate, unisex, drawstring pouch for anyone who is constantly on the go. We are offering this as an exclusive reward through our Kickstarter campaign, and it is perfect for both guys and girls!
It is machine-washable and made out of anti-microbial and anti-odor fabric – making it perfect to transport any part of your gym wardrobe between home, work, and travel.
Of course you can’t start making any type of clothing without fabric. And, for our team, finding the right fabric was the hardest part. We started by going to the Garment District here in NYC and browsed shelf after shelf to build our fabric library and identify qualities in materials that were ideal for the product we wanted to design.
At first, we tried the standard activewear materials, which mostly consisted of polyester and lycra blends. While those worked well for shirts, they didn’t work nearly as well for hijabs. Polyester and lycra are slippery by nature, and actually inherently retain heat. The more research we did, the more attracted we were to natural fabrics, one of which we completely fell in love with: merino wool.
I KNOW! Wool and working out sound crazy. But merino wool is a super high quality, soft and lightweight fabric which is made of interlocking protein molecules, also known as keratin.
Sound familiar? That’s because this is the same protein that exists in our own skin and hair, allowing it to actually act like a second skin and regulate our body temperature. It absorbs moisture from hair and skin to cool you down when you’re sweating, and it keeps you warm when your body temperature drops. And, because merino wool is a natural fiber, it is a perfect base for our hijabs; it doesn’t slip off hair, but it doesn’t pull it either.
We opted for merino wool as a base for our Signature Collection because it is a premium quality, tried and tested fabric that we believe perfectly complements our innovative designs. Our products use a combination of natural fabrics such as merino wool and synthetics such as textured mesh to create the ultimate breathable, lightweight, and sweat-wicking shirts with a modern aesthetic that look and feel great.
We researched the science and fit behind all kinds of headwear including snap-backs, beanies and headbands to engineer designs that utilize the best elements from each. We started putting our ideas into action using fabric glue, but quickly brought moms and grandmas on board to help us really sew our ideas together.
I can honestly say that the first prototype of The Up-Do Hijab changed my life – it made me feel confident, excited, beautiful and up to the challenge.
So far, a focus-group of 10 women, myself included, has tested and tried each of our prototypes during workouts that include running, yoga, spinning, hiking, kick-boxing, and even trapezing!
Our designs have evolved to improve wearability, reduce weight, and ensure that the aesthetic of each product is wearable both in and out of the gym.
So much! This Kickstarter campaign is just the beginning. We’re excited to finalize our samples and take our Signature Collection through a first round of production!
In the coming months, we are looking to grow our team and plan our future collections, including leggings, pants, swimwear and accessories. We’re also in the process of developing our trademark, so you’ll know an original Sukoon product when you see one.
In addition to designing collections that enable every woman to achieve her ultimate workout experience, Sukoon will continue to build relationships with organizations around the world that empower women through sports.
Our first non-profit partner is the Zaatari Taekwondo Academy – KFHI, Jordan, a non-profit group based in Jordan teaching Syrian refugee children martial arts. The organization has already changed the lives of more than 250 students, and we can’t wait to help them expand their programming. Their work was recently featured in After Spring, a documentary film in the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
All proceeds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will go towards production costs, but as a thank you for your support, I will personally match a percentage of funds and donate to the Academy. We look forward to building a better world with better options, with your support.
We are so lucky to have such a strong team working alongside us to create Sukoon. It’s impossible to say enough of about each of these individuals, but here’s a quick run-down of who we are, and our unique contributions to the project.
Arshiya Kherani – Founder, Co-Creator & CEO of Sukoon
Shabbir Chaudhury – Co-Creator & Adviser of Sukoon
Anum Ahmed – Events, Digital Media, & Marketing Coordinator of Sukoon
We also have an extremely talented team of advisers that have coached us through countless moments so far, who include Sarah Marie Bashir, Samir Malik, and Danish Munir,.
A special shout out to Caroline Yi and Zach Suprenant for photography, videography and GIF creation for our Kickstarter campaign, and Anjeh Bourne for makeup services; and of course all our models Deena El-Maghribi, Nadia Sikander, Nazish Munir, and Chris Gonzalez.
And finally, all our friends and family who have constantly coached us through the past year, and who we know will continue to support us as we continue this journey with all of you!
Thank you for your time, patience, and support! We hope you share our story and we are looking forward to seeing you in your Sukoon products! @sukoonactive #findyourbalance
Risks and challenges
Our team is doing the best we can to mitigate risks as move toward production. This includes doing extensive market research, vetting third parties before working with them, creating focus groups to test and rate our products, and consulting with advisers both in and out of the athleisure industry.
But every project has some risks, and we’ve outlined where the risks are and why you can trust us to come through:
FABRIC: Sukoon products all utilize existing fabrics that are proven to work in activewear and athleisure products. We are confident that there is little to no risk in this department.
DESIGN: Our collection offers a variety of products that haven’t been seen in the market before. In order to mitigate the design risk, we are consulting with various experts within the fashion industry, as well as creating several focus groups to test our products across a variety of hair and body types to ensure the best possible fit and user-friendly design.
PRODUCTS: All product photos featured in our campaign and website are prototypes, NOT final samples. That means that our designs and color selections could slightly change after we complete our sourcing and finalize our production facility. The fit, styles and color selections will only get better than what we are depicting here!
TIMELINE: Because we have not yet selected a production facility, our timeline is an estimate based on everything we know about the industry. We hope you will bear with us as we hammer out the details.
YOU DON’T LIKE THEM: Well, that would be sad! We’d be happy to exchange your item for a different color or size, but if you don’t like it – we won’t be able to offer a refund on items purchased via Kickstarter. Hopefully this will not be an issue, but feel free to email us at[email protected] if you have any questions.
FULFILLMENT: As a start-up, we will do our best to streamline shipping processes immediately. We are 100% committed to utilizing our strategy as soon as production is complete so that you can start using our awesome products!
Thank you for time and support! We promise to keep you regularly updated on our progress, as well as any challenges we come across. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, please send us an email and we will respond as promptly as we can!