I remember sitting down for dinner surrounded by our friends, and Busra Qadir, now the co-founder of Nindyaa, telling us how she dreamed of doing more, something beyond a 9 to 5 job. Fast forward to another dinner, she had just gotten married, she began telling us about all these dreams, and plans she had with her husband . I always knew Busra was forward thinking when it came to sustainability and ethical living. In fact, she was probably one of the first humans to spark my interest in this area. She was mindful of the fact that her actions may impact someone halfway across the world. She knew exactly what she wanted to do, and how she was going to do it. Her heart set alight by the intricately handwoven patterns, textiles, materials, and iconography in practically every country she visited with her husband. For Nindyaa’s first collection Busra recalled, they found inspiration from the architecture and patterns of the Punjab region, in northern Pakistan. She knew exactly how she was going to execute it. As a multi-skilled and multi-faceted woman, entrepreneur, content producer, social media influencer, fashion mogul, trendsetter, wife, client account manager at Twitter, I knew all these roles that she morphs into interchangeably, wouldn’t overwhelm her. I could feel her creative juices bursting at the seams, and in some beautifully orchestrated turn of events, her marriage to the love of her life only propelled her to hone in on this ambitious adventure. Fast forward a year or two, and Nindyaa was born.
Amaliah interviews Busra Qadir
When we moved into our new apartment and we had difficulties finding good quality organic bed sheets that also looked beautiful. We noticed that in the European market, bed sheets are very functional and plain, while in our home continent, Asia, textiles are oftentimes ›noisy‹ in terms of colors and printed designs. As cultural hybrids, we wanted the perfect mix — the plain and minimal feel of the European sheets, combined with beautiful patterns from countries and artists around the world. The idea to start NINDYAA came around three years ago. My husband and I had full-time jobs so we would brainstorm in the evenings or weekends how to best kickstart this business and we drafted business plans and researched the internet a lot. At that time, we also read lots of business and entrepreneurship books that totally inspired us!
The name stems from the Urdu word “Nindiya” which is a cute way to say sleep or lullaby. We changed up the spelling a bit because the other .com domains were already taken (laughs). Our company is currently based in Hamburg, Germany. We are in the process of moving NINDYAA with us to Munich this spring.
Our bed sheets are crafted from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton in a textile mill that recycles its wastewater. Organic cotton is not induced with pesticides or other toxic chemicals making it great for the environment while sustaining the farmers’ health. Our bedding products are all manufactured and embroidered in Pakistan. We care about the people who craft our products and work with a fair trade certified manufacturer. In standard textile manufacturing, a large amount of water is wasted during production and dying. Industrial water pollution is very harmful to the environment and the local population. We want to combat that and that’s why we currently work with a supplier that actively prevent water wastage (up to 99%!)
Our current packaging is made of a single-piece recycled paper and the bed sheet is rolled inside of it. All you need to know about the products, such as washing instructions, are directly printed on the packaging. We hate plastic and unnecessary packaging waste so we kept it simple.
It’s a lot of fun but also challenging at times (laughs). We still need to learn how to best separate private and professional life. In general, though, I love how we complement each other. I’d say I am the creative mind and love the marketing and design bits, whereas my husband is very analytical and he enjoys the logistics and engineering side of things.
To me, ethical living means to take great care of myself. To make sure I eat, drink, dress, move around and rest well, to consume meaningfully and to lead a beautiful simple life. Ethical living also means to be constantly educating myself as to how I can do good in this world and to contribute to a thriving environment. In terms of consumerism. I truly believe that cultivating awareness as to how much we buy and consume can make a huge difference. Ask yourself these questions: Do I really need this product? Where does it come from? Will it serve me well? How long will it last?
Pretty much everything around me inspires me constantly! For instance, my travels around the world, the films I see, and beautiful color combinations, and architecture. Novels that take me places my favourite authors are: Murakami, Mohsin Hamed, Elif Shafak, and Elizabeth Gilbert There are tons of artists, creators, and designers on Instagram that inspire me daily! Especially female artists of color, my faves at the moment are @meryemmeg, @alex_elle, @monmoshtari, @heraak, @alaa_balkhy, and @nouriflayhan.
Hanan has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.