Today we’re sitting down with Hind AlKhatrash, the founder of Leap Loves Green, an online marketplace for sustainable products in Kuwait. Hind is a certified aerial instructor with a background in sports and exercise psychology, and is based in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Leap Loves Green is the extension of a Kuwait-based, female-centric aerial circus studio, Leap Circus. Driven by the desire towards a greener future, Hind and her sister started Leap Loves Green as an instagram as a local green purchasing guide in Kuwait. Over time, the page turned into an online store that offers carefully curated eco-friendly products that pertain to the female experience.
We are proud to introduce Leap Loves Green as Sukoon Active’s first international partner, and are excited to spend some time getting to know Hind better today.
Hind, we have loved watching your flying routines in Sukoon Active gear from across the world. And we can’t believe that we are getting the opportunity to partner with you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start Leap?
Likewise! Leap shaped itself as a dream of mine very shortly after graduating from university. I had just gotten into practicing aerial arts with a fitness instructor and friend, and it was such a game-changer in the way I perceived my body, my movement, and expression.
I went on to explore some circus schools abroad and I was floored by what I saw and felt there. I knew this was something I wanted to desperately bring to women in Kuwait. There is a profound sense of liberation and power that comes with embracing your physical, creative, and sensual self.
How did you first become interested in flying? What does it mean to be a “flyer” for those of us who might not be familiar?
When I first saw my fitness instructor in the aerial arts, I was immediately taken by the balance of strength and grace. You certainly need tremendous strength and control for certain moves but that doesn’t mean you can’t channel some feminine energy towards it and have fun with it!
I like to think of a “flyer”, or an aerialist, is a half-acrobat /half-dancer that performs on apparatuses suspended in the air.
The variations and directions that can be taken in the aerial arts quite literally limitless - and that ensures things never get boring.
That is beautiful. And now jumping over to Leap again, why do you believe it is important to bring global sustainable products to the Kuwait market?
Since first kickstarting Leap Loves Green on Instagram, we’ve been privileged enough to become a green hub for so many eco-conscious businesses and like-minded individuals (like Sukoon!). It has opened a great network to us, and we are now in a position to identify great products in the global market and figure out ways to bring them to our local economy. Many might not know this, but Kuwait unfortunately ranks the top waste producing country in the world. Our team at Leap takes a lot of pride in seeing a growing awareness towards sustainability here in Kuwait, and we are excited to be leaders in the green movement here.
What, if any, are the biggest societal barriers for empowering Muslim women to live a healthy lifestyle? In Kuwait? Around the world?
I actually believe the societal barriers to living a healthy lifestyle in Kuwait have hugely shrunk in the last 5-7 years with the growing popularity of marathons and sports events locally and regionally. I feel one hurdle yet to overcome is having women see themselves represented in what “fitness” looks like.
Yes, we’ve certainly seen a number of Muslim women of different ethnicities take the stage in many disciplines.
Yet, I feel female Arab Muslims are still skeptical if that messaging is really intended to speak to them. There continues to be this impression of the Western Muslim being more “able” than the Eastern. I would say localized messaging and a move away from the blanket term “Muslim” as if referring to an entire ethnicity by the media is what is needed here.
Is there anything we can do, as a brand/community based in the US to help localize that message?
I think a great way in making Arab Muslim women feel seen is being attentive to their cultural norms across the Middle East. For instance, wearing vibrant colors is commonplace in North African Arab countries while Arab women in the Gulf are more conservative and prefer sticking to neutral tones. The overwhelming majority of gyms are segregated in the region, so there is a demand for “cover up” apparel to wear on your way to and out the gym that may be greater than fitness apparel itself. Finally, speaking to the audience, quite literally, in their language is of course a great starting point for any brand.
This is great to know! We constantly get asked to provide more neutral tones...but we also really want to embrace vibrant and empowering colors as a brand for Muslim women. That said, we will definitely be introducing some more neutrals in the next year so that all women have what they are looking for.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Sukoon Active community?
Shoutout to Arshiyaaaaa! We’ll never know why it took so long for someone to come up with an actually attractive, smartly designed activewear hijab and headwrap that stays in place - but we’re so thankful for it!!!