Interview mit Kadalys: Go Bananas!

Kadalys stammt aus Martinique in der französischen Karibik und ist die erste umweltbewusste Beauty-Marke, die Bananen-Agrarabfälle in patentierte organische Wirkstoffe umwandelt. Diese Wirkstoffe wurden exklusiv zur Verjüngung der Haut entwickelt. Kadalys bietet ein komplettes Sortiment an sauberen, ethischen und natürlichen Formeln, die alle frei von Giftstoffen, vegan, biologisch zertifiziert und frei von Tierquälerei sind.
Wir haben für dich mit Shirley Billot, der Gründerin von Kadalys, gesprochen und viele interessante Insights herausgefunden.

Who stands behind the brand Kadalys?

Hello! I am Shirley Billot, the founder and CEO of Kadalys. About 10 years ago, I came up with this crazy idea of upcycling ugly and single bananas from Martinique, considered as agriculture waste by the industry because they are imperfect (20% of the annual production) into super antioxidant, patented organic ingredients and organic premium skincare products.

Born in Djibouti, I grew up in Martinique, the land of banana trees. We produce 70% of the French banana supply in Martinique and 30% in Guadeloupe. Banana plays a key economical role for the island. Banana is also known in the traditional medicine for its healing and regenerating properties. We use this superfruit, also called, “plant of a thousand uses” to treat psoriasis, acne or eczema.

What encouraged you to launch Kadalys?

Through Kadalys, I wanted to create a better future for the planet and help to reduce the social and economic inequities that exist on the island of Martinique. Every year nearly 40 000 tons of bananas are discarded and never sold because they are damaged, imperfect or alone. We want to give a second chance to these forgotten bananas, and transforms them into quality, clean care that is good for your skin and the environment.

By reducing waste, supporting a more sustainable agriculture and creating new job opportunities in science and innovation in Martinique, we bring hope back to a younger generation in the French West Indies, who now see more possibilities in our island economy and its future. That way we hop to create more alternatives and be less dependent on tourism and exportation of rum and sugar cane.

What is special about the brand and what distinguishes it from others?

Because I was raised by very committed and activist parents who have always fought for social and environmental causes, founding Kadalys was a way to share my vision of a caring, eco-conscious premium beauty company founded on three pillars: circular economy, green chemistry and inclusive capitalism. Kadalys is the first eco-conscious, organic skincare brand and expert in sustainable banana science. Inspired by French-Caribbean remedies, Kadalys offers clinically proven, organic skincare made with patented bio-actives from banana by-products targeting anti-aging, radiance and soothing. Our products are clean, vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable, and backed by a satisfaction guarantee. 

We are grateful for the recognition the brand has received and the several awards Kadalys has won for the quality of the products (Best Organic Product, Best Indies Brand…) but also our commitment. In 2021, Kadalys was named Best Blue Beauty Brand of the Year, which recognizes a brand or product that is innovative in its sustainability and ability to make a positive impact on the environment.

How long did it take for your idea to manifest itself as a finished product range?

From the moment I had the idea to study how to valorize banana agri-waste into active ingredients for the cosmetics and launching Kadalys, I took me about 2 years. 

I started with a Research program to study all parts of the banana tree from the leaf, flower, to the fruit and trunk, to see what applications could be interesting for the skin. Our Research showed that our banana bio-actives had incredible benefits for the skin were incredible: our pink banana bio-active is for example 4,500 times more antioxidant than argan oil! Our ingredients have been patented for their anti-aging, depigmenting and soothing action. I was amazed by the superpower of this plant, that is way stronger than what I thought!

What difficulties did you have on the way when building Kadalys ?

When I started Kadalys, 10 years ago, sustainability, natural, vegan beauty were not as attractive as it is today. The last few years and especially with the pandemic situation that started in 2020, customers’ interests have shifted for clean but also sustainable, inclusive and ethical brands like Kadalys (what we call “Blue Beauty Brands). 

Also, I encountered barriers to entry Continental France as there was a lack of awareness regarding French West Indies traditional medicine (officially recognized in 2009). Superpowers of plants like banana trees were not known in Europe. That is why I started the development of Kadalys in Asia first (Japan, Korea and Australia), countries that love innovation and plant-based medecine.

How did you come up with the design of the packaging?

My little sister is an artist. She drew the banana tree you can see on our packagings. It has become a true signature for Kadalys. As Martinique is a very sunny island with bright colors, we chose our packagings to be vibrant: blue like the sea, yellow and green like banana trees… We also have the colorful Madras pattern (traditional pattern from Martinique) modernized with bananas on our lip balm, shower gel and hand cream.

Interview mit der Marke Kadalys

What is your best beauty-tip?

My secret to keep a youthful, healthy skin longer is the combination of two anti-aging best-sellers : the Radiance Precious Oil followed by the Musalift Lifting Day Cream. Both got awarded Best Organic Product in 2020 and 2021 for the efficacy to lift, firm the skin, reduce dark spot and wrinkles. I also believe that beauty comes from confidence and a positive attitude. In French, we have an expression “ça me donne la banane.” It refers to the way bananas look like a smile and can be translated loosely “as this makes me smile like a banana” or “makes me happy.” Through Kadalys, we want people to feel beautiful by spreading this positive and optimistic banana vibe and to encourage people to wear a “banana smile.” Positivity is contagious and something the world could use more of. 



Olivia Janus

Olivia hat ihre Leidenschaft zum Beruf gemacht und die Plattform Beautyself gegründet. Seit der Pubertät kämpfte sie mit Akne bis ihr die Pille verschrieben wurde. Nach Absetzen der Pille im Alter von 28 Jahren kehrte die Akne zurück. Sie merkte wie mühselig die Recherche nach passenden Hautpflegeprodukten ist. Denn es gab keine einzige Website, die folgende Punkte bündelte: Echte Erfahrungen, Kombinationen von Produkten i.S.v. Hautpflegeroutinen, Preisvergleich. So wurde Beautyself geboren.

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