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Our Annual Holiday ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Collection: Supporting Conservation Efforts

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Are you familiar with the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua tree? If not, it’s time to get acquainted! This beautiful tree produces luscious red blossoms that not only look incredible, but also contribute to Hawai’i’s rainforests. Unfortunately, ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua trees are endangered. With their very existence under siege, it’s on us to do all we can to protect and preserve them. Trees in Hawai’i and native plants in Hawai’i are integral to Hawai’i as a whole.  Understanding the role ‘Ōhi‘a plays in Hawaiian culture and the Hawaiian ecosystem will highlight the importance of mitigating these trees’ endangerment.

About the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Tree

A major contributor to Hawaiian rainforests, the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua tree helps promote sustainability and environmentally responsible living in the islands. The trees are among some of the first native plants in Hawai’i to grow on new volcanic lava flows, a feature that already makes them decidedly unique.

A Pillar of the Hawaiian Ecosystem

Beyond their ability to grow in volcanoes, however, these trees are impressive in a variety of other ways. In fact, they’re vital to new and existing rainforest growth. They act as a food source and habitat for many other wild Hawaiian species including birds and wildlife. ‘Ōhi‘a also promote water conservation on the islands. The way they allow rainfall to seep into the ground replenishes Hawaiian aquifers in a natural and sustainable way.

The Cultural Significance of ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Trees

Not only do ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua trees hold a special place in the heart of the Hawaiian ecosystem, but they’re also one of the most noteworthy symbols of Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian mythology tells the tale of the two young lovers ‘Ōhi‘a and Lehua. While the two were in love, there was a third party who presented a problem: the volcano Goddess Pele. Pele was also in love with ‘Ōhi‘a and could not accept that ‘Ōhi‘a had already given his heart to Lehua. In a fit of rage and an attempt to separate Lehua from ‘Ōhi‘a , Pele turned ‘Ōhi‘a into a twisted tree. Several other Gods saw the devastation this brought on ‘Ōhi‘a and Lehua and transformed Lehua into a blooming red flower to be placed on top of the ‘Ōhi‘a tree. This allowed the two young lovers to unite and remain together forever. Legend says that when you pick a Lehua flower from an ‘Ōhi‘a tree, it signifies separating the lovers from one another, which brings tears in the form of rain. That’s why people encourage picking Lehua flowers in times of drought.

The story is beautiful, as are the ways in which the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua tree is used in Hawaiian culture. Artisans use the tree’s wood to create weapons and everyday tools like poi boards and kapa beaters. They also incorporate the Lehua flowers into Hawaiian lei, hula, and as symbolism in storytelling.

Why the ‘Ōhi‘a is Endangered

It is gravely unfortunate that something so beautiful and meaningful is currently under threat. Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is a deadly disease that threatens the existence of ‘Ōhi‘a. ROD is the result of exposure to the Ceratocystis fimbriate fungus. The fungus has already caused countless trees in Hawai’i to perish. Education, awareness, and intervention is how we can prevent the damage from worsening

Conservation Efforts for the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Tree

Each year, Malie chooses an organization that promotes the conservation of this tree. Last year, we contributed to the ‘Ōhi‘a Legacy Initiative, an organization that plants ‘Ōhi‘a in urban areas throughout Hawaii. This year we chose two organizations to donate to. The first is the Limahuli NTBG, which we chose because of its mission: the conservation of endangered and threatened flora. The Limahuli NTBG uses “ancestral resource management practices to address contemporary conservation challenges and restore health, function, and resilience to the valley,” a practice known as biocultural conservation. The second organization is the Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee (KISC), which works to prevent, control, and eliminate threatening invasive plant and animal species in an effort to preserve Kaua’i’s native biodiversity. The committee also aims to minimize adverse ecological, agricultural, economical, and cultural impacts through their work. Malie is proud to be a part of the solution by supporting these organizations’ efforts. 

How Malie Supports ‘Ōhi‘a

As a brand inspired by the beauty of Hawai’i, Malie is dedicated to helping protect and preserve the precious ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua trees. We have the utmost respect for Earth’s natural resources, especially those we have been gifted by Hawai’i. The islands have given us so much; supporting conservation efforts is the least we can do in return.

Here at Malie, we have curated a special holiday collection to support ‘Ōhi‘a conservation efforts. Shopping from the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Holiday Collection can have a direct impact on these endangered trees. 10% of the proceeds will go to the Limahuli National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to tropical plant research, conservation, and education, and KISC.

What’s included in our ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Holiday Collection:

  • Koke’e Body Cream

    This luxurious, organic body cream nourishes skin with a moisturizing blend of botanicals. The antioxidant-rich formula includes coconut and kukui nut oils infused with awapuhi, aloe, and chamomile to soothe, protect, and deeply hydrate. The 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic bottles in which this body cream is housed comes from recycled material and can be re-recycled back into the Earth.

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  • Malie
  • Koke’e Body Wash

    Rinse away the day with Malie’s Organic Koke’e Body Wash. Infused with Hawaiian Hydrosols and therapeutic botanicals, this hydrating body wash leaves skin silky smooth, cleansed, and refreshed. It is great for all skin types and can be used on a daily basis. Best of all, our body wash is housed in a 100% PCR bottle, making it a sustainable and responsible choice for yourself and the planet.

  • Koke’e Body Gloss

    Discover the luster of a lip gloss for your body in Malie’s Koke’e Body Gloss. The first of its kind in the natural beauty industry, our body gloss is a blend of organic botanical butters mixed with extra virgin coconut oil. The result is a protective barrier for your skin that locks in moisture and delivers silky, glowing radiance. The non-greasy formula not only feels amazing, but it also offers several skin benefits. Organic mango and aloe butters (rich in Vitamin A, C, and beta carotene) help prevent degeneration of skin cells while restoring skin flexibility. Organic macadamia nut butter (rich in Omega 3 & 6) helps with sunburn, windburn, and scar recovery.

  • Malie
  • Malie
  • Koke’e Hand Soap

    Your hands deserve some love, too! The Koke’e Hand Soap gives you a daily dose of indulgence as it cleanses your hands. Awapuhi extract naturally cleanses while organic aloe moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Hawaiian Hydrosols hydrate and add therapeutic benefits for an added touch of luxury. This hand soap comes in a 100% PCR bottle for enhanced environmental friendliness.

  • Koke’e Beauty Oil

    Keep your hair and body beautiful with this light body oil. Great for all skin and hair types, the Koke’e Beauty Oil contains vital ingredients such as Organic Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, and Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Put it on your hair to tame frizz and enhance silkiness or use it on your skin for a hydration boost!

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  • Malie
  • Koke’e Island Ambiance Mist

    Bottling up a beautiful scent has never been so gorgeous ! The Koke’e Island Ambiance Mist is housed in a golden glass bottle, giving you beauty at first glance. Give it a spray and you’ll instantly see why this mist is a Malie favorite. Made with aloha using wild-crafted Hawaiian Hydrosols, this room spray can be used on linens, laundry, or as a perfume.

  • Koke’e Island Ambiance Reed Diffusers

    Get the scent of a candle without the burn. Zero maintenance is required for our reed diffusers, allowing you to transform your space into a tropical island paradise hassle-free! Hawaiian aromatherapy is made simple with our Koke’e Island Ambiance Reed Diffusers. Long-lasting and high-quality, this scent brings out the best of a clean, aromatic fragrance and transports it directly to your home.

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*Please note that all beauty products within this collection are made with at least 70% organic ingredients. The vegan formulas are cruelty-free and never tested on animals. All products are free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, and gluten.

Hawai’i’s ecosystem is sacred and must be preserved. As a brand inspired by the peace, serenity, and tranquility of Hawai’i, Malie is dedicated to keeping that beauty alive. In an effort to protect the native plants and trees in Hawai’i’, 10% of all proceeds from our ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua Holiday Collection will be donated to the Limahuli NTBG and KISC.

The best way you can do your part is by shopping with us! Get involved when you shop for clean, safe, and effective beauty products from Malie today!

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