When Malcolm and Melanie Rands started ecostore in 1993 their dream was to create a values-based business that could sustainably fund a not-for-profit arm called ‘Fairground Foundation’.
Since 1994, ecostore has researched and brought to market New Zealand’s leading range of healthier, eco friendlier household cleaners, body care and baby products with a focus on looking after the health of people and the planet we live on.
After travelling and working as a radiographer in Australia, the USA and the UK, Malcolm returned to New Zealand and a not-for-profit career in the community arts. What struck him was how much time he spent securing funding rather than doing his community work.
A combined interest in fostering communities and green activism led Malcolm and friends to establish an ecovillage in Northland. However, all the time he kept thinking how sensible it would be to establish a business that would be so successful it would be able to fund a charitable foundation. From there, in 1993 Malcolm and wife Melanie founded ecostore, a mail-order business to sell eco-friendly products for cleaning, body care, pet care, and organic gardening. Today it is New Zealand’s leading manufacturer and retailer of environment friendly, chemical-free household cleaners and body care products.
True to their original vision, ecostore has channelled a percentage of its profits over the years into Fairground Foundation but time and other resources have been stretched to the limit. Having sold the last of their ecostore shares in 2016, Malcolm is once again rolling up his sleeves with the help of an amazing team and already has two game-changing projects to share. His business model, in which a commercial business supports a not-for-profit has been so successful that in 2017 Malcolm and Melanie made the decision to work solely for the Fairground Foundation.
Malcolm has been active in the sustainable scene for over 33 years. He was awarded the Green Ribbon Award from the Ministry for the Environment, plus two environmental awards from the Auckland Regional Council and most recently Malcolm has been added to the World Class New Zealand International Network. ecostore won two awards at the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Mega Efficiency Innovation category and Malcolm was the joint winner of the Sustainability Champion award. In 2015 Malcolm was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit as part of the New Year’s Honours for his services to business, conservation and philanthropy.
Author and Media
In 2013 Malcolm released his autobiography ‘Ecoman’ which tells the story of his personal and entrepreneurial life. ‘Ecoman’ covers 20 years of ecostore’s remarkable achievement of beating the odds against multinationals to create a range of supermarket-friendly, plant-based alternatives to mainstream cleaning products, body care and baby care products that work without harming the health of people or the planet. For two years Malcolm appeared on TVNZ as ‘ecoman’, giving advice on how to ‘green up’ your life. As well as an astute businessman, champion of strong communities, Malcolm is still a keen organic gardener. He is a regular contributor on Saturday Morning with Jack Tame on Newstalk ZB.
As a speaker,, Malcolm is an in demand keynote speaker who shares his entrepreneurial journey and messages around sustainability, marketing, innovation and the environment!
A new model for business: Malcolm Rands at TEDxAucklandMalcolm Rands is co-founder of ecostore, New Zealand's leading range of eco-friendly household products. While initially sold by mail order, ecostore now has over 100 products in its range with products stocked in supermarkets in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and in outlets in parts of Asia. Malcolm has been active in the sustainable scene for over 25 years, co-founding New Zealand's first permaculture eco-village in 1986 and was a foundation member of the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network.
I just wanted to say how great it was to meet you Malcolm - and thank you for the presentation. Everyone loved it and it promoted some great conversations afterwards! Particularly around t ... keep readinghe Bump space project and community interactions/kindness. Beca
Thanks very much - great having Malcolm's unique perspective and solid experience on our Leaders Worth Following Panel.