This month we delved into the world of Malée. An unapologetically bold beauty brand which combines wonderfully natural ingredients with a passion and compassion for the people and environments from which they stem. So often we take for granted that good ingredients must equate to good in the supply chain, but with Malée we can rest assured knowing that we are buying into something that is creating a good greater than for ourselves.
Malée founder Zeze does not shy away from a challenge, launching the brand amid the global financial crisis. Such beginnings have created a brand firmly grounded in resilience and an ability to thrive even in the most adverse conditions.
Paying homage to our surroundings, Malée looks to nature for inspiration but is also mindful of our impact on the earth, ensuring that their products are responsibly sourced and sustainable.
What is the ethos behind Malée?
The ethos behind Malée is very simple, we’re all about beauty with a purpose.
Quality: we only use 100% natural active ingredients.
Community: we are dedicated to sharing our success with the local communities that source and supply natural ingredients for our products.
Empowerment: we want to help build a world where all people have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. With every purchase of a Malée product, our customers contribute to the education of children in underprivileged African communities.
Sustainability: we owe the quality, efficiency and success of our products to the earth.
Experiences: Malée is firmly grounded in the true stories and ancient healing rituals of Africa.
From where do you draw inspiration?
The brand is inspired by generations of African healing rituals and time-honoured beauty traditions. Malée was named after my great grandmother. It’s a term of endearment in Bini, the language spoken by a tribe in the Edo Kingdom of Nigeria. The wisdom passed down through these generations will continue to live on through Malée.
Nature is a key theme in the narrative of your brand, how important is it to you to source natural ingredients for your products?
It’s extremely important, mother nature is the greatest scientist and ingredient supplier, working with indigenous African botanical known and proven for their natural healing and powerful plants means we don’t compromise on quality and efficacy. We do this with sustainability at the forefront and are cautious of our carbon footprint.
As a female founded business do you think it’s important to centre women and the feminine in your brand?
I do feel it’s important to centre and empower women and the feminine with our products, without the generations of women sharing and creating traditional beauty rituals we as a brand wouldn’t be alive. However, I believe that beauty and self-care is genderless. As a brand we cater to everyone, our products are gentle and effective on all skin types even a baby’s delicate skin.
You describe Malée as being born in the middle of the financial crisis, do you think that such difficult beginnings have added to the resilience and subsequent success of the brand?
It has made the brand more resilient; it has also given the brand a purpose. When I created Malée I felt the world was lacking a natural inspired luxury beauty brand, especially one with an African voice that shared the beauty of the continent.
What are your favourite ingredients to use and why?
I love using versatile oils that can work well on hair, skin and nails. Oils with a high vitamin E content like avocado, argon, rosehip and wheatgerm would be some of our favourite as they are in most of Malée products in high quantity and food grade quality.
If you weren’t responsible for the success of a natural beauty line, what do you think you would be doing?
I’ve never asked myself this question. Through Malée I’m able to touch many more lives through creating jobs that form the foundation for our team to build solid futures. Our philanthropical efforts change a number of lives every-year for the better. I’m able to Empower the next generation of business women through my speaking engagements.