She broke the internet with the Eco-Shoes Initiative. In fact, ever since she won the anzisha prize, talk in international and national media was rife about this amazing lady from Ghana who has been empowering disabled persons through her works. Presently the CEO of Dignified Wear, she has secured several international fellowships and gained several international recognitions. She is today one of the top 10 Positive African Women(#10PAW) we celebrate on women’s day.
1- Mabel Suglo is now a house hold name in Africa thanks to her remarkable work in providing eco-friendly projects and empowering the disabled .Tell us two things about yourself we probably don’t know.
Mabel Suglo is a staunch Christian. She also lives her life based on principles; not tossed about to and fro which sometimes make people term her a difficult person but it gets to be known with time, that she is so affable and easy going.
2-You had gained international recognition from the Eco-Shoes initiative. Why the transition to Dignified Wear?
It is personal.
3-Tell us a bit more about dignified wear. What distinguishes it from other brands?
Dignified Wear (www.dignifiedgh.com)is a Ghana based social enterprise that trains and employs persons with disabilities and rural women to manufacture durable and fashionable footwear, locally woven fabrics, handbags and necklaces from recycled tires, cotton threads and acrylic beads respectively.
What distinguishes dignified wear from other brands is that, it creates jobs which benefit persons with disabilities and rural women. Thus, these disadvantaged groups who may have been jobless or poor but for our initiative now find bliss in learning skills that enable them create beautiful products from waste, earning an income from their handwork, and at the same time contributing to waste reduction. We also produce 100% recycled footwear as all our products are handmade and therefore doesn’t cause climate change as no green house gases are emitted.
This initiative by dignified wear, provides sustainable sources of income or these categories of people to take ownership of their lives instead of taking to the streets to beg for alms.
4-You have been making international waves for your works. Which of your achievements would you call your greatest success story?
All the waves I made back at Eco-Shoes were all success stories as they all played vital roles in the growth and well being of the company but notably among them; I becoming an anzisha fellow and winner of the anzisha prize. It was then, the world came to know about us. You know first love and impression are not easily forgotten.lol.
5-What has been your greatest challenge and how do you manage it?
My greatest challenge was combining both school and business . But by so doing, the experiences molded me into a tougher person and I was better able to run my business. I managed this challenge by efficiently and effectively using my time back on campus and made every minute count.
6-What fulfills you most in your job?
When I see the smiles and joy that radiates from the faces of my marginalized yet creative and talented artisans at Dignified Wear as they work and know that for once, there is someone that believes in their abilities instead of their inabilities. They are perceived by the Ghanaian society as a burden to society and it gives me joy to change that narrative. This, thereby restores their dignity which is core to the dignified wear brand.
7-What are you currently working on?
Out of my innate gifts and talents meeting passion, I am the founder and CEO of Dignified Wear (www.dignifiedgh.com), a Ghana based social enterprise that trains and employs persons with disabilities and rural women to hand make durable and fashionable footwear, locally woven fabrics, handbags and necklaces made from recycled tires, cotton threads and acrylic beads.
8-How do you see your organization in the next 10 years?
I see dignified wear become a global brand and household name in Ghana, operating in our factory and warehouse with at least 20 outlets in Ghana. I see it travel the world. Our plan to employ more than 100 physically challenged persons and rural women artisans will also be realized in 10 years time.
9-Your African dream.
I dream of an Africa free of corruption, effective leadership, systems and institutions that will work for the good of the continent with the youth being fully involved in decisions making and other important decisions .We are the next leaders, and should be taught and involved early in the affairs of our beloved continent. This will grant us a lot of time to learn and deliver without failing generations coming after us.by