#6 Leading the fight for a sustainable future

Hello! This is the 6th edition on Head’s Up, a weekly newsletter that comes out on Mondays and Fridays on all things SME, Startup, and Social Enterprise in Malaysia (and maybe in the region in time to come).

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Head’s Up speaks to Ain Nadia, Founder of Adania & Co on creating a community along with the brand’s mission to bring about more sustainable impact and awareness on the nature surrounding us.

Your latest venture, Adania & Co (Adania) brings customers on a more collaborative journey, where purchasing any of your products contributes towards tree planting. How did you come about this idea?

Throughout our six (6) years of journey with Adania, we placed an emphasis on organic and natural ingredients quality and healthy lifestyle. We then got to thinking about creating a brand with a potential to give real impact. Back at the drawing board for our strategy going forward, the plantation idea came to fruition.

I believe strongly that the plantation campaign will be our voice to the world so that we can build a better community for the future. It relates well with one of our philosophies which is preserving nature and giving back to the community, in our own little way.

Another fact that really scares me is that Malaysia's deforestation rate is starting to incline day by day. I know I can't do much with my personal effort but with the Adania community this mission can be accomplished with us achieving more success with the campaign.

We have always been a passionate believer of the power of plants. Plants have been known to give away many benefits to humans, animals, and the surrounding ecosystem & environment. It translates into all of our products with Adania.

Sadly, as technology advances and rapid development becomes more pervasive, rich forests are being explored, trees are being cut and animals’ natural habitats are being destroyed. These had led to certain types of plants and animals reducing in substantial numbers, even forcing some to near extinction.

This is basically a situation of the corruption of the ecosystem which needs to be taken into action as soon as possible. I hope with this campaign we can start building the awareness for early adopters.

What are some of the highlights of this journey?

So many memorable moments that I can share but the ones that are close to my heart are the following:

1. One of our suppliers is from a small farm and the farm is the main source income for the whole village. Adania is proud to consistently support them by purchasing our ingredients from the farm.

2. Other than thousands of good reviews on how Adania helped to give better and healthier skin from our customers, we are also honoured to have received quite a number of awards for best products in various categories.

To name a few they are: Best Organic Serum Anugerah Cantik 2017 EH Magazine, featured as Best Pick Eco-Friendly Cleanser By Jelita Magazine 2018, featured Top 10 best local natural products by STARs 2017 & Best Face Oil for Female Beauty Awards 2017 Judges Choices.

3. Currently we are in partnership with Alunan Wellness to train more people from the B40 group on facial services using ADANIA and they can in turn, offer this services via Sentuh App (wellness booking platform) as their therapists.

I hope via this programme we can help more B40 earn a living and improve on self-development with the classes and activities provided.  Another note that I can add is that this journey is not about profit alone but how much impact we can bring year by year. 

Adania is in an ecosystem that is increasingly looking at competition from both local and foreign players, how do you go about this?

Well, we are quite lucky to have started early and considered ourselves pioneers in this vertical. Other than striving to retain our client base with the on-going campaigns, we also make sure that we keep up with the trends without compromising on our company fundamentals.

Adania remains relevant in brand conception (which is why we just upgraded to our new look in 2020), providing product lines that are approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), Ministry of Health Malaysia and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations. 

We strive hard to only produce the best of the best products with high quality ingredients (certified from ACO, USDA, Eco Cert and etc). Adania always believes in using natural ingredients, sourced ethically and sustainably from day one.

Who are you collaborating with currently and what roles do they play?

Our first plantation campaign is with APE (Animal Projects & Environmental   Education) called "Beleaf in yourself, Grow them with us".

APE is a social enterprise that focuses on improving wildlife welfare in captivity and in the wild through the development of volunteering projects and educational programmes. These projects are designed to support and contribute towards conservation projects in a sustainable manner.

Embedded within partner conservation sites, these projects aim to benefit the environment, wildlife, animals and community of the area through monitored and measured conservation outcomes. They currently have projects at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and the Corridor of Life, Lower Kinabatangan River in Sabah. APE Malaysia projects bring in participants of diverse backgrounds and experience to achieve common outcomes.

APE has several years of experience with replanting activities. The project is within the wildlife sanctuary where pygmy elephants, sun bears and orang-utans roam. While the authorities enforce protection, they assist by restoring destroyed habitats.

Much tree planting has been done by many organizations and they contribute towards the reforestation of the Corridor of Life to preserve the remaining wildlife and biodiversity in these sanctuaries. Replanting plots along the Kinabatangan River have been assigned to APE by the Sabah Wildlife Department.

So basically we have three mechanics - First, customers have a chance to plant the tree with their name with any purchase of RM250 above, secondly they can purchase the tree separately with only RM20 (inclusive of management cost) and thirdly, some percentage of customer purchase shall go towards the campaign.

All can be done at our website www.adania.my. APE will help plant for us and issue e-certificates together with a coordinated info to every tree planted. It's an interesting concept that our customers can even track where their tree is located!

Why do you think Adania’s purpose is important in this day and age?

We wanted to share with the world that every purchase made is making a major impact. For Adania & Co (Adania & Community), we believe in natural equilibrium. A balance of nature, animals, plants, people and the environment which is the core of our business.

I also believe, if we always strive to provide the best quality and also give back at the same time, this brand will remain in our customer's heart for a long while.

How has your cause and business raised awareness among buyers and non-buyers?

We received positive response from both segments and are currently on track to reach our mission which is to plant 1,000 trees this year. Other than plantation campaigns we also educate customers to always check the label, be concerned and be aware of what they put on their skin.

Skincare can be a tricky category to navigate - buried in confusing pseudo-science and baffling beauty marketing that are readily available and accessible. Hence the continuous campaign has to run consistently to reach more people and give the impact.

What can we expect from years to come and what’s in the pipeline for Adania?

2021 is going to be an awesome year for ADANIA. We have environmental campaigns lining up now just to make sure we cover every aspect such as impact to animals, plants, communities and the environment.

Five years from now, we aim to support more organic, fair trade and sustainable suppliers, having our own farm and will explore and produce lifestyle eco-products that can benefit the ecosystem and at the same time will always give the best to our customers. We hope when people use ADANIA products, they know that they are contributing towards building a greater future.

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