Empowerment and social justice are about much more than having rights in the abstract, and foreign aid is insufficient to address the root causes of poverty, and the need everyone has to feel proud about their work and lives.

Economic empowerment is the capacity to bring about economic change for oneself, including a fair, sustainable income and a raised standard of living, which are crucial for diminishing inequality and poverty, and increasing dignity. We believe that EMPOWERMENT IS ABOUT PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES about how they live their lives, using their hard work and creativity in ways that bring them security, self-expression, and joy, on their own terms. Malena is a way for you to join us in this cause.

ARTISANS ARE THE KEEPERS AND INNOVATORS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, and should be able to generate a sustainable income. However, in much of the world today, they face many barriers to a dignified livelihood, from lack of access to markets, tools, and training, to poor working conditions, lack of bargaining power, and lack of enforcement of their rights.

However, when these artists are economically empowered, poverty decreases, they have more resources to provide what their families need, their vulnerability to abuse diminishes, and they have access to better technologies to support their entrepreneurship, leadership, and business opportunities.

In particular, the research on investing in women across the world demonstrates that these benefits will cross over to the artisans, their families, and their communities, furthering their autonomy. “When women hold assets or gain income, the money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently their children are healthier.” Thus, the empowerment of women is a crucial element in our collective wellbeing.

Malena is addressing economic agency in innovative ways, beginning with an ecommerce platform where you can shop gorgeous, ethically sourced goods that tell a story and support economic empowerment for people around the world. We plan to continue to invest in creative ways to support dignity and economic opportunity in communities worldwide, building tools, avenues, technologies, and infrastructure to support people’s self-directed economic independence.

WHEN YOU SHOP AT MALENA, YOU BECOME PART OF A CHAIN REACTION THAT REVERBERATES AROUND THE WORLD. When you shop with us, you help provide our partners with a global market for their beautiful work, a fair, sustainable income, and support for their communities, changing lives worldwide. We like to call it (EM)POWER SHOPPING. And we are so excited you’re here.



our model

WE SEARCH THE GLOBE for groups and individuals who make the most gorgeous products, all sourced in the spirit of ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT of their artisans. We also collaborate with artists to create original designs you won’t see anywhere else. Malena is always exploring innovative ways to support economic empowerment for people worldwide, and we look forward to sharing our adventures with you.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our original malena line of scarves, an exclusive collaboration with our partner collective in Ethiopia.