The fashion sector is one of the most important sectors from a job creation and economic contribution perspective, and for Kulukaya Sadiki, founder of Glo-Ray Designs Sustainable Studio in Malawi, sustainable fashion is key.
Her business approach is to incorporate fabric recycling and reuse into the production process to create timeless fashion pieces with minimal environmental impact.
Kulukaya Sadiki is a Sustainable Fashion Designer, Humanitarian and a Marketing Strategist by profession.
She selected as a Young African Leader for the ‘Leadership in Business’ cohort for her business skills by the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a USA program in 2020.
She started her sustainable fashion business in 2017 after realizing that it is possible to make a difference within the community and environment using an important aspect of humanity which is clothing.
Her clothing brand focuses on recycled and rejected fabric to create timeless trends thereby delaying disposal and minimizing fabric pollution. She works in the market with women fabric suppliers, inspiring them and empowering them with business knowledge.
Kulukaya is also the Founder and Chairperson of a registered non-profit organization called ‘Ladies of Influence’ which focuses on sustainable development in Malawi through humanitarian effort with the main focus being the girl child.
She launched into entrepreneur after learning from her late father who was an entrepreneur who had a studio with over 20 employees. He instilled a spirit of determination and resilience in all his children. He encouraged them and told us to go out and become whoever we wanted to be.
In 2011 Kulukaya joined her sister in her IT venture because it felt that her sister was the best person to mentor and prepare her for the business world and more.
She learned from her sister how as women we must work twice as hard to claim our place in the business world. Through her sister’s entrepreneurial venture, she learnt how to work for every penny.
Kalukaya started her business while she was working with her sister.
In her words, “Growing up in the environment I did, my entrepreneurial journey was inevitable.”
As her entrepreneurial advice to women who are planning to launch a start-up, she said:
“I know that life feels like an uphill when you look at the distance between where you are and where you want to be. I know there are voices pulling you from every side, some are encouraging and others are distracting. Invest time in knowing who you really are, so your NO will be firm and your YES will be particular.”
“Choose your circle carefully because this is one important aspect of self-development, move with the driven and ambitious. At the point you are now, I have been there before and I am still there in some parts of my life but child, God did not create us on earth for mediocrity.”
“You are special and the world needs you to use every gift you have to make it a better place. Fear is nothing but a feeling, it gets smaller with each step you take to climb up to your dreams. You are different because God chose you, you are special just the way you are.”
“Rise up and act on your dreams, don’t let the world drown your voice but speak up where you need to and be the one who raises a generation of fearless, driven, ambitious and action oriented young people!”