Our Social business Kimuli Fashionability emerged as the National winner and outstanding venture in the Ye-community awards in October 2018
Our Founder nominated as a main guest speaker at Bildkorrekturen Conference in Leipzig-Germany organized by Engagement Global about fair and ethical fashion happened in November 2017.
Through the same platform our venture’s vision and work is among the few innovative ideas which will be published within the BrightSight Global concept (website) and its editorial perspective which would hopefully serve as a permanent pool of fair development startups/initiatives for those who seek to build synergies and support them.
We organize fashion shows where the disabled showcase the products, they make from waste to raise funds and change people’s mind-set on the way they see disability not as an inability and creating awareness around the waste problem.
During our fashion shows 70% of the models are persons with disabilities and ensure that at least 70% is creative, up-cycled and recycled work to instill the sense of exclusivity and circular economy within our communities.
We have so far organized 2 successful fashion shows and now we are aiming to secure more partnerships with inclusive organizations like “Malengo Foundation” and organize these shows depending on regions so that we can reach more people for mindset shift.
We organize sensitization programs in schools, children
Camps(here with collaborative partners like KALEKE KASOME, HEDCO etc), and rural communities to support reducing, preventing, re-using, re-cycling and upcycling waste so that we can achieve a plastic circular economy.
Early mindset shift within children natures children into sustainable-minded citizens with waste management skills e.g waste separation which enables re-use of all categories of waste.
This rainy season got #better with @kimulifashiinability as our #entrepreneur@kiggunduCyrus presents the best and cost friendly raincoats. These are made out of a smooth cotton African fabric that makes it comfortable with your skin inside with a little warmth and the outer most part is put together with valve sacks particularly from a sugar factory. This raincoat has capacity to keep you dry amidst these wet days. @einsteinrising
Having lost both her disabled parents at the tender age of 6, Namujju Juliet was left in the care of her seamstress grandmother who struggled to provide for her. This means as a child, she had to forego ‘’trivialities’’ like playing dolls but Juliet did not let this get into her way of having fun. She got creative. Juliet started stitching her own dolls and designing their clothes from her grandmother’s discarded clothes pieces.
“I had the opportunity to take her remaining pieces and sew
flowers and dresses for my dolls out of them. I was able to see that waste could be something very useful.“
Due to a lack of funds to support her university education, the 22-year-old decided to enroll for a short course in Fashion and Design after completing her High School. She then joined Social Innovation Academy that educates disadvantaged youth to become job creators and social entrepreneurs with the ability to turn challenges into solutions. It was here that she came up with her business idea.
Kimuli Fashionability is a designer fashion house in Mpigi District, that employs disabled people who upcycle waste products mostly plastic into African fashion clothes for wear.
“We get every plastic waste we can find like sugar sacks, empty milk packets, rice sacks and cement sacks. Collecting them from rubbish pits, bringing them with us and washing them. After that, we sew them together with our African fabrics.“
Juliet Namujju says she was inspired to venture into this business for three reasons; the need to offer solution to Uganda’s garbage and waste management problems, empower disabled people through meaningful employment following her parents’ discrimination and a deep rooted love for fashion.
“Since I was young I loved working with people with disabilities which made me
start building my brand and including people with disabilities. They lack skills, they are vulnerable and they are being discriminated. Giving them an opportunity, a chance, to teach them the skills they need for fashion and design will make a good impact on them, their community as well as the society we live in.“
Since its inception in 2015, Kimuli Fashionability has showcased its designs in countries like Germany, Poland, among others, with customers in different parts of the world. It has also offered employment to over 30 Persons with Disabilities.
Juliet was nominated in the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum annual AWIEF Awards 2018 in the category of Young Entrepreneur but lost to South Africa’s Nomso Faith Kana. And in December 2018, she attended the Goalkeepers’ event in South Africa, curtesy of Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation.
Juliet credits her success and ability to overcome challenges as an entrepreneur to;
1. Mentorship: “I come from an organization that teaches us not to give up because of bigger challenges but to look at big things and slowly accomplishes it. „Social Innovation Academy“(SINA) in Uganda accompanies young people on their way to become an entrepreneur.“
2. Examplery leadership: “You can not take yourself to be a higher person because you have to touch the waste and wash it. As the fashion designer has to be an example to your workers and even to other members of your company.“
3. Honesty with clients: “I will not hesitate or beat around the bush if the design will not look good on you.“
4. Authenticity: “I and my team work very tight together in the creative process of designing our clothes without copying from other fashion designers
We train persons with disabilities(those with physical and hearing impairments) free hands on skills of creative tailoring on how to turn plastic waste into fashion. Training them with creative tailoring skills turns their disability into an opportunity of creating their own employment while saving the environment from plastic waste accumulation.
African fabrics are blended with waste materials. In the absence of hearing, deaf people for example often have heightened kinesthetic and visual abilities resulting in high quality products with love for detail.
After collection, the waste is washed, dried and cut to different shapes/patterns depending on the design of the product to be made.
The pieces are then blended with African fabrics like (Kitengi, Sisal, Barkcloth, Kikooyi etc) into unique fashionable garments like raincoats, pants etc and accessories like shopping bags, wallets, laptop cases, make-up kits, pencil cases, door and table mats etc