by Melanie Swan
  • 2 minute read
  • July 09, 2019
These Bahraini Sisters Are Behind The Kingdom’s First Leading Activewear Brand

With one sister a fashion designer and the other a recreational athlete, setting up an activewear brand was a logical step for Bahraini sisters Hala and Dana Zubari, founders of Tru Active. The fashion brains behind the business is younger sister Hala, 27, who studied at the London College of Fashion and is passionate about fitness. She started designing customized activewear for her sister Dana in 2013.

Dana, 36, is the athlete of the family, and leading a wave of active women in Bahrain. One of the first Bahraini women to take part in the triathlon Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca in 2013, she is the co-founder of an all-women cycling team called the Cycling Bees, and a running group called Lettuce Run. “Since I live a very active lifestyle, I was always in gym-gear,” she says. “Having Hala as my sister and personal activewear stylist, it was only a matter of time before I took the leap and invested in her vision for Tru Active.” Keeping it in the family, their father Khalid is the artist behind the Arabic calligraphy on the leggings.

A goal for the sisters is to inspire the community around them, like many in the region, plagued with high rates of diabetes and obesity. With sizes ranging from XXS to XXL, in addition to modest collections, inclusivity is key. “We believe your fitness journey can start at any age and size,” shares Dana.

Next is to develop the lines into more eco-friendly products. Hala, who takes her inspiration from nature and her surroundings, drawing on everything from Arabic astronomy to heritage, recently developed three pieces using recycled plastic bottles. “We are looking forward to creating more eco products,” she notes.

Tru Active is one business among the many new start-ups in Bahrain and entrepreneurship is gaining rapid momentum in the Kingdom with support from the government. “I would say Bahrain has been going through an entrepreneurship boom over the last few years and a lot of individuals are stepping away from the traditional corporate life to specialize in fields they are most passionate about,” comments Hala.

The life of a young entrepreneur is not easy, however. From finding work-life balance to managing budgets and marketing strategy, Hala says it can be a rollercoaster. “It’s very important to know your ‘why’ – why are you here and what are you doing.”

Though still seen as slightly unconventional in comparison with their friends’ corporate and government jobs, the sisters feel fortunate to have their parents’ support as it has given them the confidence to pursue a path aligned with their lifestyle and passions. “I believe everyone will always have an opinion on the career path you wish to take, but it is up to you to move past the fear of failure, the criticism and push for what you want,” states Hala. “At the end of the day, it is better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all.” Shop the range at Truactive and Meemo Space

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