Woman holding a baby in a mint green shirt with white bunnies and orange carrots and a jean jacket
Malika from New York
Raising the new generation in a more sustainable world

Meet the Moms: Introducing Malika

Meet Malika from New York

Meet Malika, one of our very first upchoose moms who is using our consignment service to sell us back organic baby clothes her adorable Lennox outgrew. Not only does she earn $$ on great quality items that were only used a few times, but she also reduces her clutter and helps make organic quality more accessible to other families. You can follow her on Instagram @malikaforreal.

What’s your name? Any nickname?

My name is Malika. I never had a nickname that stuck. Small children often call me "Lika".

Live in? Grew up in?

I currently live in West Harlem with my husband and son Lennox. My father was a Television Reporter so we moved often. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but his job took us all over the country and all over the world. In grade school, our family moved to Tokyo Japan for a few years. I used to speak fluent Japanese but regrettably, I can only sing a few songs and write my name in Hiragana. Most of my family is in either California or Chicago. Living in multiple cities ( and countries) was a very humbling experience that I still carry with me. A deep interest and respect for others.

You’re the mom of...

A still snuggly 16-month-old named Lennox Lewis (aka Lenny).

Woman and child
Meet Malika and Lennox (aka Lenny)

What made you want to be more careful about things you were buying for your house or your kids? Was there an “aha” moment or specific event?

I think it happened naturally as I got older. I wanted to be in more control of my health and home environment. I also began to work at a Natural and Organic Baby store. The science-based information I read blew me away. How could there be so many harmful chemicals in baby products? Lastly, I was told I had less than a 2% chance of conceiving on my own. After a failed round of IVF and zero funds to continue treatment, I began to focus on my personal mental and physical health. Once Lenny was born I naturally wanted to keep my home as safe as possible.

How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?

It was a two-year process. I started with cleaning supplies. When I was pregnant we needed a bigger bed! It made sense to buy a healthier mattress. For our son, I choose the healthiest, non-toxic mattress and furniture I could find. We also did not buy any plastic toys and tried to have as much organic clothing as possible.

What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?

I noticed very early that my son gets very hot and breaks out in hives easily. Wearing organic clothing minimizes adverse reactions to synthetics and chemicals. Also, I have greater peace of mind that I am doing the best that I can when financially possible. I now make smarter choices for our family resulting in less cost.

Any tips you'd like to share with moms who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out the first steps? 

No need to feel overwhelmed or guilty. Make small changes as you go. If you are expecting a baby, do your research. Shop locally when possible and find retailers who focus on natural and organic products. Be wary of copycat brands at big-box retailers. Your new baby will spend A LOT of time at home so make the changes that affect them the most. Trust your gut. Really I just want my son to grow up in a home without unnecessary toxins so I do the best I can.

You’ve used UpChoose to return organic baby clothes that your baby outgrew. Why did you decide to do it and how did you feel about that experience?

I chose to return organic clothing to upchoose because I wanted to make sure my son's clothing went to another like-minded family. The experience was simple. Upchoose provides the label and I just had to box up all of his organic clothing. It was seamless.

Woman holding a baby in a mint green shirt with white bunnies and orange carrots and a jean jacket

What would you tell other moms who consider doing the same but like to hold on to their baby's clothes?

I was in the same boat. What if I need this clothing soon? I spent so much time and effort choosing organic clothing, I wanted to hold on to everything. In the end, I decided it was more in line with my ideals to remove clutter from my home and provide organic clothing for another precious baby. When/ If I need organic clothing in n the future, I can always turn to UpChoose. I truly believe you get back what you give.

❝ I just want my son to grow up in a home without unnecessary toxins so I do the best I can ❞

What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?

We have saved money by having to buy things like plastic baggies, plastic wrap, or different cleaning products. Now our cleaning products are safe for our family and pets and we use things that are multi-purpose, which saves us storage space.

What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?

To be a part of a community that empowers moms to affordably make smarter choices. UpChoose helps me deepen my commitment to organic/natural living. The return process is simple which allows me to worry ( a little bit) less and spend more time with my family.

Favorite activities or games you play with your baby?

Our favorite activities are reading, dancing, and spending time at our neighborhood park. His favorite game is that of mommy's "helper" ;)

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

To cook. Wait, is that a superpower? 

Favorite movie?

Too many! Sounder, The Wiz, Malcolm X but also any Jennifer Garner or Sandra Bullock movie. 

Favorite song?

Point of it all by Anthony Hamilton / Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog.

Dream place for a vacation?

Italy, any city, any time of year.

Favorite dish?

Sweet potato anything. Also Japanese Curry Udon. 


If you want to learn more about the UpChoose community, our organic baby clothes solution, react to this article, or be featured, drop us a note at hello@upchoose.com!