Born in Djibouti, Shirley grew up between East Africa and the Caribbean before moving to France.
At an early age, her mother initiated her into traditional Caribbean medicine, much of which centered on the Banana Tree plant which is well-known in the French West Indies for its cosmetic, curative, and well-being benefits.
Shirley Billot created Kadalys to marry her desire to promote the virtues of her Creole heritage and the Banana Tree with her passion for plant research.
Through a research program she launched to study the virtues of the banana tree, she developed new cosmetic active ingredients, called "Musactif," that help preserve the health and youthfulness of skin.
THROUGH KADALYS, I WANTED TO CREATE ETHICAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS, WITHOUT COMPROMISE BETWEEN HIGH PERFORMANCE, NATURAL INGREDIENTS & ECO-CONSCIOUSNESS.
Following her discovery, Shirley launched Kadalys with patented Banana Bio-actives in 2012. It was the first eco-conscious, high-performance skincare brand.
I BELIEVE IN INNOVATIVE, ECO-RESPONSIBLE & ORGANIC BEAUTY.
I BELIEVE IN ETHICAL, INCLUSIVE CAPITALISM. THAT'S WHY I ENSURE 100% OF MARTINIQUE'S FARMERS ARE PART OF THIS UPCYCLING AND ECO-EXTRACTION BUSINESS.
In 2012, I created KADALYS, the first eco-conscious brand, world expert in banana science, which develops ingredients by upcycling agricultural co-products from the banana sector and transforming them into ethical and high-quality skincare products.
As activists, my parents made me aware from my childhood of the environmental and societal causes in the countries where we have lived. Preserving the environment and its resources was, and still is, a cause near and dear to our hearts.
My travels and my mixed origins (African, Asian, Native American, and Caucasian) inspired a desire to formulate products and textures that work for all skin types, skin tones and climates.
“I founded KADALYS to make the world a better, healthier, and more equal place. I wanted to make it better by actively addressing the challenges of tomorrow: tackling food waste and creating long-term and sustainable employment.”I also wanted to make it healthier by creating ethical skincare that helped consumers look radiant without having to compromise on quality, natural ingredients, or eco-consciousness. And importantly, I wanted to improve equality by creating a company that empowers and supports growers and workers.
In 2009, Martinique was experiencing a terrible social and economic crisis due to the high cost of living and social inequities.
Shirley had two choices: either leave her island, as many did, or stay and fight for it. She chose to stay and focus on the banana industry because it is the largest private employer in Martinique and plays a key role in the economy.
Bananas represent an opportunity to be more sustainable given the number of ugly bananas that are discarded every year (ugly bananas are bananas that retailers reject because they are misshapen or not part of a bunch).
More than a million bananas are thrown away every day in the world, and food waste is a top contributor of climate change. In rescuing and upcycling these bananas, KADALYS reduces landfill waste, helps banana farmers thrive, and gives consumers beautiful, glowing skin.
Lastly, Shirley has always believed capitalism should be more inclusive and that it should reward the ones who create the real value. That’s why she decided to incorporate 100% of the banana growers as shareholders of KADALYS.