Social Impact Heroes Helping Our Planet: Why & How May Deldari of Maylyn & Co Is Helping To Change Our World

An Interview With Penny Bauder

Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine

--

Surround yourself with winners and strong-minded people. As an entrepreneur you don’t want to have to waste energy dealing with overly critical or stubbornly obstructive people. Having these positive people in your life will bolster your confidence and invigorate your passions.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing May Deldari.

May Deldari is the CEO & Founder of Maylyn & Co. Eco-luxury Sleepwear brand. She is a Canadian social entrepreneur, who’s main goal is to create a positive impact in the fashion industry. After becoming sick and tired of fast fashion’s devastating impact on the environment, she decided to launch her own vegan, consciously made lingerie and loungewear brand.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I grew up in a Persian family in Iran and immigrated to Canada with my family. As a BIPOC woman, my life has always been influenced by the culture and traditions that revolve around sustainability. In our house, we always had this cookie tin which we stored colorful sewing threads and needles in. As long as I remember, we rarely bought new clothes; my grandmother would always upcycle our old textiles or we simply repaired its wear and tear. In other occasions, we cut the fabric into smaller pieces and used them as cleaning cloths. Another beautiful habit that we had in our family was to pass down clothes. We never cared about trends or owning a specific brand — we have been all about quality and taking care of what we have.

You are currently leading a social impact organization that is making a difference for our planet. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

The western society is systematically affected by consumerism. The truth is we can’t stop people from shopping; but we can educate them to buy consciously and invest in products that are designed to last. In today’s world, fast fashion companies are constantly targeting people — especially youths- and encourage them to buy more. As an eco-conscious brand, our role is not just to offer sustainably made products but also to influence the world which starts with a change in mindset.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

I would say the cultural impact was huge in this journey and of course my personal experience. Since I was a child, I had severe skin sensitivity, therefore, my mom had to be very careful of what clothes I was wearing. She had to make sure the fabrics are 100% cotton or natural so that my body doesn’t react to the materials. During my teenage years, I started doing my own research and found that cheap, synthetic fabrics that are used in fast fashion are not only uncomfortable on the skin but also, they cause negative social and environmental impacts. Exploiting workers, usage of non-biodegradable materials and water contamination, carbon emission, plastic pollution and much more. The more I was learning about these issues, the more I was determined to make a change.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest them. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

To be honest, I was tired and angry for a long time, and I was literally waiting for an opportunity to make it happen. I still remember the day I was studying for my LSAT (law school admission test) at a Starbucks in North York, Ontario, when a little bird whispered into my ear: “listen, you’ve been having this dream for a long time, just go for it.” That was the exact moment I realized I no longer want to peruse a career in law.

Many people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

I think the very first thing is to set your mission and values. Without this, you never know where you stand. The next step is to conduct your market research to see if there is an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business, assess your finances, determine your legal business structure and strategies and of course register your business.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I officially started my brand photoshoots in the beginning of the pandemic. It was so so so tough because models were not working, and studios were closed due to lockdowns. After lots of searching online, I came across a photographer on Instagram who happened to know a few models who were willing to work. I also asked one of my friends to join us. Thankfully I found a beautiful studio in Toronto which accepted bookings with limited capacity, so we went there and finished our first project.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

I remember there was one night that my eyes were so tired, but I was still working on the website. I uploaded photos for the homepage banner that were too big for that space, therefore, they were automatically shrank. I felt so sorry for all the customers that visited my store that night — they should have seen terribly weird visuals!!!

The lesson from that mistake is to never make such adjustments when I am tired and need sleep!

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

My family have always been my cheerleaders. They have believed in me from the start and supported me emotionally. They are not just my cheerleaders; they are also my business partners. I’m so glad that we run this business together.

Are there three things the community, society, or politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

In my opinion, sustainability starts from the community. Here are a few ways to help:

  1. Volunteer for Earth-friendly causes like beach/park cleanups and planting trees.
  2. Supporting local farms strengthens the community and the local economy. You’ll get to taste the real flavours as well!
  3. Try carpooling or riding your bike — fewer cars on the road means reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality.

How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?

As people become increasingly aware of the world’s environmental problems, they have become more cognizant of purchasing products which report to have some sort of positive relationship with an environmental issue. A survey conducted in 2019 by the Center for Sustainable Business in New York, showed that shoppers are increasingly likely to opt for products with some sort of green affiliation, and not only that but that they are willing to pay more for them. What surveys like this one is that being seen as a green company, can boost your reputation in the public eye and therefore customer’s willingness to buy your products.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. There will always be people that laugh at your ideas and do not believe in your potential, don’t be discouraged by their views. Be your biggest fan and always remember why you started.
  2. Don’t forget about your physical wellness and mental health. Try to not get overwhelmed by the frantic pace of modern life and make sure to find time to concentrate on your wellbeing. It will pay dividends in the long run to make sure that you practice self-care and ensure that you are monitoring your mental and physical equilibrium. In doing so, you are less likely to burn out and in the long run you will be more productive.
  3. Being an entrepreneur can get lonely. Make sure you have a great support system to help you through any challenges that you may encounter on your way to success.
  4. Maintaining your relationships can be tough. It is important to invest time in relationships that are meaningful to you. As an entrepreneur, it is hard to keep up with relationships and create a perfect work life balance, so it is important to prioritize connections that are valuable to you or risk their disintegration.
  5. Surround yourself with winners and strong-minded people. As an entrepreneur you don’t want to have to waste energy dealing with overly critical or stubbornly obstructive people. Having these positive people in your life will bolster your confidence and invigorate your passions.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Make small conscious changes to their daily habits and be an advocate for sustainable living. From reducing the use of plastics and switching to reusable options to opting out of junk mail, cutting off food waste and shopping responsibly. Don’t get discouraged by people who say things like “you are only one person” — always remember every single person can make a difference in the world and everyone should try.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

This is my favourite quote: “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. -Arnold Bennett” This especially resonated with me when I was having problems trying to reconcile my choice to leave my pursuit of being a lawyer. Instead of getting bogged down in what I thought I might miss out on or the life I could have led, I focused on what I could do in the moment to pursue my dreams of changing the world of fashion forever.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Gary Vaynerchuk! His podcast, books and motivational videos are truly insightful. He is inspirational, intelligent and unbelievably blunt — It’s better to be a looong meal because I have so many questions!!!

How can our readers follow you online?

www.maylynandco.com and Instagram & Facebook: @Maylynandco

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

--

--

Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts