Mààlú Tallow Co. + Sustainability
The term ‘sustainability’ is very much greenwashed today, so much so, that it holds little to no value any longer. However, when considered carefully, I believe business should be conducted sustainably. Below are ways I approach ‘sustainability’ here at Mààlú Tallow Co.
- Using local Ontario pasture-raised beef suet + lard – animal fats for skincare is an age-old tradition, however, modern times made us forget this tradition and animal fats became a waste. I subscribe to the nose-to-tail philosophy which requires the use of as many parts of an animal as possible (including the unpopular parts) so there’s little to no waste left. By using beef tallow as the base for all our products, we upcycle something once considered waste into a beautiful and nourishing skin food. With a focus on ‘local Ontario’, we cut down on the commute time it takes to get the suet to us, which positively reduces our carbon footprint, and the suet is fresher. With a focus on ‘pasture-raised’, we are supporting and encouraging our local farmers to continue in the way of their regenerative farming techniques, and the suet is also of a higher nutritional value.
- Mindfully sourcing raw materials – when creating a product, I usually consider the purpose for such product, and I start by searching for natural ingredients to help fulfil such purpose. I take the time to learn about the history and origins of each ingredient and intensely study how our ancestors optimized its use. When sourcing for these ingredients, I ensure to stay as close to the ‘home’ of the said ingredient as possible. I also place emphasis on how the ingredients are grown + harvested, ensuring ethical and fair-trading practices are adhered to.
- Building a sustainable business utilizing the Slow Business approach – having implemented a slow + simple lifestyle, it is only right that I follow the same rhythm with this shop. The slow business approach means that I value quality over quantity – less is always more. I value my people and I only create products I see a need for; hence, each product must have a ‘purpose’. A slow business approach for me means, I live out my true and honest self, hoping that those who are like-minded will ‘sit + stay’ with me. Truthfully, I lead a counter-culture lifestyle and I am no longer afraid to make that known. A slow business approach allows me to pace myself and my staff, so that we can sustainably grow this shop while truthfully serving our customers. This, however, doesn’t mean a subpar experience, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. We’re graced with the opportunity to not only create beautiful products but to foster thriving relationships with our customers, suppliers, and employees.
- Implementing the zero-waste policy – the policy in our studio is, ‘if it can’t be reused, then we aren’t using it at all’. We only use equipment and tools made of glass and stainless steel materials when creating, simply because they are better for our health, environmentally friendly (as opposed to plastic) and can be safely washed and sanitized with high heat. A big emphasis is placed on “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
- Investing in quality and eco-friendly packaging – our products are hygienically stored in packages that can reused and repurposed in your homes. The amber jars we use were selected to protect the properties of the product. Where we don’t use glass jars, we us paperboard packages that can be recycled time and time again.
- Handcrafting and utilizing small-batch processes – small-batch processes allow us to control our input, and every component of our production. In turn, you’re guaranteed a premium quality product that’s been intentionally made for you. My staff and I create every product on this shop by hand, from slow rendering the suet (tallow) to jarring the final product, we control every step of the process. This is sustainable for us, as a team, and reduces our environmental footprint, as such oversight means we do not over-produce. We produce on an ‘as needed’ basis.