Sustainable promotional products will get more attention worldwide
Muhammad is Kingly’s new Sock Knitting Engineer. We are delighted to have him by our side as he has 10 years of experience in the field. He is dedicated to creating the most sustainable and comfortable socks on the planet. Mohammad is also extremely excited by the opportunity to use textile waste and transform it into eco-friendly, high-quality products.
How did you get interested and involved in sock knitting? How long has it been your passion?
I started working in this field in 2011. I was hired by a very well-known, world-famous company in Pakistan that produces 20% of all socks in the world. They have 6000-8000 machines. I reached out and they called me for an interview. I passed the interview and their test. I didn’t know much about socks. This was the first time I had to deal with sock knitting machines. My boss told me that I would be in the Maintenance Team and would be taking care of the machines. The company gave me a month’s training and then they told me that I had to decide if I wanted to continue working with the machines. After the training I felt better, I felt comfortable in this field. Slowly it became my passion. I have already spent 10 years in this field with 3-4 different companies.
How did you decide to become a part of Kingly’s team? Was there anything specific that attracted you to come work for a European-based company?
I learned about this job from LinkedIn. Rob contacted me and he told me about the company policies. And I said: Ok, I will accept this opportunity. I was excited by the fact that Rob was very dedicated to this business.
I know that you have waited for quite some time to come to the company and have the opportunity to work in Bulgaria. How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you? Did it change your plans?
I had to wait for eleven months before I could move to Bulgaria. This is my first month working for the company. My first interview was on the 4th March 2020, so I have waited almost a year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were some problems in Pakistan. Also, there was also some resistance from Bulgaria’s side. In April or May 2020, the Bulgarian government insisted on having special approval before I could move to work here. It took some time, but Rob had to send me a special approval from the ambassador. This made it very easy for me to come to Bulgaria.
Now that we are putting the spotlight on sustainable production, is it challenging for you to implement all these eco-sustainable concepts – using organic cotton, upcycled cotton, and bamboo? We are even creating socks from PET bottles. Tell me a little bit about the process behind it.
This is my first experience working with upcycled cotton and with the eco-sustainable concept. I like it a lot. I think it will get more attention worldwide. Most people are using a lot of disposable tools in life – for instance, when it comes to kitchen necessities. I like Kingly’s concept better because it is going to have a better impact on the environment. We are turning textile wastage into something new, into quality products.
How do you feel about the atmosphere in the company?
I feel very good here because everyone wants to help each other. Also, people are really polite. I have worked in the Gulf area and compare it with Bulgaria. I didn’t feel like a stranger there. I come from Pakistan and my language is very similar to Arabic. We are Muslims and we are a very closed community. To me, all people are the same and I don’t judge them by their religion. But I feel like a stranger here. Our culture, our food – everything is very different from what I am used to. So, it’s very interesting and exciting.
What kind of qualities do you think you have so that you can enhance the growth of the company and the team as a whole?
I have technical and programming skills, and also teambuilding skills. I have trained at Busi Giovani, one of the most famous Italian sock knitting companies. So far, I have trained about 20-25 technicians. In the future, if Kingly needs my help in training more people, I can step in.
Which good practices do you think should stay in the company? Do you think there is anything we need to change or work on?
Production (and getting it working smoothly) is very important. Step by step, we are establishing better systems to cover the most important criteria. I believe in a few months we will be achieving a lot more than we are just now.
What do you think is the most challenging part of the job now? And what is the most exciting part of coming to work for Kingly?
Production is the most challenging part because our customer pool is very different from what I have experienced before, especially with the custom orders which seem small in comparison to what I am used to. Every 2 or 3 days we are changing the designs; we are changing the patterns, so it is definitely hard work for us.
I am learning Bulgarian and it is quite exciting but also difficult. I have learned just a few words and phrases like „Да“ (Yes) and „Добър ден“ (Good morning/ afternoon) but I will continue learning.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am very active on social media and I like surfing on the internet. I like Netflix, watching movies, and listening to songs. I like action movies like Mission Impossible, Fast and Furious. I also like to travel and go for walks.
For more exclusive business updates and tips on sustainability, join our Facebook group: Sustainability and Business tips. For any inquiries regarding our sustainable line of socks, or other promotional products, please contact us via [email protected]