Instyle Linen’s Journey: Small Factory to Textile Manufacturer

Instyle Linen is a 100% Black-owned home textiles Cut-Make-Trim (CMT) manufacturer based in Clairwood, KwaZulu-Natal.

Grown from humble beginnings, late founder of the company, Mr Ismal Azaad Shaik, started his career in the textile industry as a janitor, sweeping the factory floor of one of the country’s largest furniture manufacturers. 1992, he took a leap of faith and setup his own 80m2 factory where Instyle Linen was born. Over the last four decades, Mr Shaik, more recently with the support of his sons, has built the successful, family-run business that Instyle Linen is today. The SME has significantly outgrown their initial factory space and now operates out of a 4800m2 manufacturing plant, producing over 70 000 unit of home textile products a week.

Journey through the Accelerator

The SME joined the KwaZulu-Natal Clothing & Textile Cluster (KZNCTC) Accelerator in March 2023 and steadily progressed through the rigorous screening and capacity building phases to develop and deliver a compelling business pitch aligned with customers’ needs. Instyle’s potential caught the attention of several large customers made up of Mr Price Group, Pepkor Speciality, TFG and Woolworths in the KZNCTC’s “Dragons’ Den” event.

BMA | Screenshot 2023 10 09 114458

The SMEs’ value proposition was recognized as the “Best Business Case” and Instyle was awarded an on-the-spot cash prize of R20 000. Instyle has since unlocked the more significant prize, which is the potential to supply two of the leading retailers with various home textile products. To date, Instyle is in continued discussion with the retailers to

confirm the customers’ requirements, deliver samples and progress the identified commercial opportunities.

What lies ahead for Instyle Linen?

Instyle Linen has been onboarded as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Clothing & Textile Cluster. The SME has completed several financial and risk assessments and is currently undergoing a diagnostic assessment to understand the current state of their business and identify what interventions should be prioritised to enable better delivery to their customers and sustainably scale their business. Instyle will continue to receive mentorship and upgrading support through the Accelerator to stabilise delivery, scale production and meet customers’ growth needs.

“Words cannot truly describe what an honour and privilege it was to be a part of the KZN Clothing & Textile Cluster 2023 Business Accelerator Dragons Den. After three months of due dates and stressful submissions, nail-biting moments and the exhilarating feeling of continuously making it through to the next stage, we finally had the opportunity to showcase our business, our talent and our skills to the judges who were the Head Buyers of South Africa’s leading retailers. This hopefully opens the doors for many more exciting opportunities, and we look forward to becoming the reputable, direct manufacturers and suppliers of South Africa and Africa’s leading retailers in the near future! We wish all the other finalists every bit of success in your business ventures.” – Abdulqadir Shaik, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Instyle Linen.

The cluster would like to thank eThekwini Municipality and participating large customers Mr Price Group, Pepkor Speciality, TFG and Woolworths for their continued support of the Accelerator, commitment to empowering Black industrialists and driving the economic transformation of the local clothing and textiles sector.