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How May Deldari Of Maylyn & Co Is Helping to Promote Sustainability and Climate Justice

An Interview With Monica Sanders

Communities have a significant role to play in promoting sustainable and eco-conscious fashion. Firstly, they can support local and ethical fashion brands that prioritize sustainability and responsible practices. By promoting and purchasing from these businesses, communities create demand for sustainable fashion and encourage other brands to adopt more environmentally friendly approaches.

According to the University of Colorado, “Those who are most affected and have the fewest resources to adapt to climate change are also the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions — both globally and within the United States.” Promoting climate justice is an incredibly important environmental responsibility that is slowly becoming more and more recognized. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who are helping to promote sustainability and climate justice. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing May Deldari.

Meet May Deldari, a trailblazing social entrepreneur and founder of Maylyn & Co., an innovative, eco-fashion brand. With a passion for fashion and a deep commitment to environmental responsibility, May has built her brand from the ground up, redefining the silk industry, “one silk thread at a time”.

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 was born in Iran, and I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that was all about sustainability and upcycling. It was ingrained in our lifestyle, you know? We didn’t just talk the talk; we walked the walk. We were all about finding creative ways to give new life to old stuff. My grandma always turned worn-out clothes into funky fashion statements and repurpose random objects into functional treasures. It was like a constant adventure, discovering the potential in what others might call “trash”. Being raised in such an environment fueled my passion for sustainability. Now, I’m all about making a positive impact on our beautiful planet and spreading the word about living a greener, more sustainable life.

Everyone has a cataclysmic moment or marker in their life which propels them to take certain actions, a “why”. What is your why?

The fire in my belly was sparked when I realized the devastating connection between fast fashion and the climate crisis. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I couldn’t just sit there twiddling my thumbs. That’s why I kicked off my sustainable fashion business — to be part of the solution and make a real difference. I wanted to do things differently, from using eco-friendly and vegan materials to promoting fair and ethical production practices. I care about the climate crisis because I want future generations to have a world worth living in. So, I’m on a mission to show that fashion can be fab and eco-friendly at the same time.

You are currently leading an 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?

The silk industry has significant negative impacts on the environment and silkworms. The process of obtaining silk involves the exploitation of silkworms, resulting in the loss of countless insect lives. Additionally, silk production is water-intensive, contributing to water scarcity. Moreover, the use of chemical dyes and finishes in silk production contributes to water pollution and environmental degradation. As the founder of Maylyn & Co., my mission is to drive positive change in the silk industry. Sustainability is not just a buzzword for me — it’s the foundation of everything we do. We carefully curated a collection of cruelty-free fabrics, including organic modal and our innovative exclusive fabric, Persian Lotus Silk ™. We are proud that our textile engineered Vegan Silk™ offers an ethical and sustainable alternative to animal derived silk.

In Maylyn & Co., waste reduction is a top priority, and we employ advanced techniques to repurpose and minimize waste throughout our production process. Ethical manufacturing practices are non-negotiable, as we ensure fair labor conditions and safe working environments for our valued partners. Social responsibility is deeply ingrained in our brand ethos, as we actively engage in initiatives that support fair trade and contribute to local communities in the North of Iran. By raising awareness and educating our customers, we strive to inspire a shift towards mindful and conscious consumption.

Thank you for that. Let’s now move to the central part of our discussion. Let’s start with a basic definition of terms so that everyone is on the same page. What does climate justice mean to you? How do we operationalize it?

For me, climate justice means recognizing that the impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed and that vulnerable communities bear the brunt of its consequences. It’s about acknowledging the historical and ongoing contributions of wealthier nations and industries to greenhouse gas emissions while understanding that marginalized communities have contributed the least but suffer the most. Climate justice is about empowering those communities, amplifying their voices, and ensuring that decision-making processes are inclusive and equitable. It also involves holding responsible parties accountable, supporting developing nations in their climate efforts, and promoting sustainable development that respects human rights. Ultimately, climate justice is a call for collective action and systemic change to create a fair, sustainable, and resilient future for everyone.

Are there three things the community, society, or politicians can do to help you in your mission?

Communities have a significant role to play in promoting sustainable and eco-conscious fashion. Firstly, they can support local and ethical fashion brands that prioritize sustainability and responsible practices. By promoting and purchasing from these businesses, communities create demand for sustainable fashion and encourage other brands to adopt more environmentally friendly approaches.

Both politicians and society have the power to reject and move away from the fast fashion and consumerism culture. They can support initiatives that discourage the growth of fast fashion by implementing regulations that address its negative environmental and social impacts. They can encourage extended producer responsibility, promote sustainable business practices, and invest in educational campaigns that raise awareness about the true costs of fast fashion.

Society can play a pivotal role by rejecting the allure of fast fashion and embracing alternative choices. By shifting away from the culture of disposable fashion and embracing sustainable alternatives such as timeless, high-quality pieces, second-hand shopping, or supporting local companies, individuals can challenge the dominance of fast fashion brands and their exploitative practices. Society can promote a mindset of conscious consumerism, valuing quality over quantity and investing in fashion items with longevity and positive ethical attributes.

By collectively embracing sustainable fashion and ditching the fast fashion mindset, politicians and society can create a transformative shift in the industry. This shift not only contributes to environmental preservation and social justice but also fosters a fashion culture that respects workers’ rights, promotes fair trade, and values the well-being of our planet and future generations.

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?

Embracing sustainability and environmental consciousness can be a smart business move, leading to increased profitability. By implementing sustainable practices, businesses can reduce operational costs through resource efficiency and energy conservation. Additionally, being environmentally conscious enhances brand reputation, attracting a growing customer base that values sustainability. This can translate into higher sales, market share, and customer loyalty. Sustainability also fosters innovation, driving product and process improvements that can create cost savings and new revenue streams. Moreover, prioritizing sustainability helps attract and retain top talent seeking purpose-driven work environments. By staying ahead of regulations and accessing funding and incentives, businesses can further mitigate risks and enhance their financial stability. Ultimately, integrating sustainability into business strategies aligns long-term profitability with environmental responsibility, creating a win-win situation for the company and the planet.

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. 🙂

I would love to meet with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because of her unwavering dedication to sustainability and combating climate change. Her co-sponsorship of the Green New Deal resolution is something I greatly admire, as it demonstrates her commitment to addressing not just the environmental issues at hand, but also the economic inequalities that intersect with them. AOC’s active involvement in advocating for policies to combat the climate crisis and promote climate justice is inspiring. I appreciate how she consistently emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her passion for a more sustainable future serves as a powerful reminder of the need for decisive action to protect our planet for current and future generations. Meeting with her would offer a unique opportunity to discuss and collaborate on ways to drive meaningful change and create a more sustainable world together.

How can our readers continue to follow your work online?

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

About the Interviewer: Monica Sanders JD, LL.M, is the founder of “The Undivide Project”, an organization dedicated to creating climate resilience in underserved communities using good tech and the power of the Internet. She holds faculty roles at the Georgetown University Law Center and the Tulane University Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. Professor Sanders also serves on several UN agency working groups. As an attorney, Monica has held senior roles in all three branches of government, private industry, and nonprofits. In her previous life, she was a journalist for seven years and the recipient of several awards, including an Emmy. Now the New Orleans native spends her time in solidarity with and championing change for those on the frontlines of climate change and digital divestment. Learn more about how to join her at:

How May Deldari Of Maylyn & Co Is Helping to Promote Sustainability and Climate Justice was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.