Earth Day is right around the corner, so why not try to change up your lifestyle just a little bit in order to help the environment? Here are 22 sustainable businesses in Hawaii that you should support!
Sundaze Bikinis is one of the coolest sustainable Hawaii based-companies. In order to combat the issue of thousands of pounds of plastic in our precious oceans, Sundaze Bikinis reuses this plastic by turning it into stunning, functional swimwear pieces! They have found a way to take something that is harming the environment and turn it into a product that can be used to enjoy that environment!
*Bonus: quite a few of Sundaze Bikinis’ designs don’t have straps that requiring tying, so you won’t have to worry about that while you’re in the water!
One of the most common uses of plastic that we tend to forget about is plastic wrap. Every time we need to store a little bit of extra food that won’t quite fit into a plastic or glass container, we turn to plastic wrap. Over time, that adds up! But Meli Wraps has developed a solution. Made from beeswax, organic cotton, tree resin and plant oils, Meli Wraps is a plastic wrap alternative. Each Meli Wrap can be washed and used 150 times – which means you’ll be saving 150 pieces of plastic with each Meli Wrap!
Started by Hawaii-born actor Jason Momoa, Mananalu aims to reduce one of the most common forms of plastic pollution: plastic bottles. While reusable water bottles are always an alternative, sometimes we make mistakes and forget to bring our reusable bottle with us! Then, it seems like your only solution to stay hydrated is to buy plastic water bottles, but that’s not true anymore!
Mananalu is a company that packages water into recyclable aluminum cans. While plastic is recyclable, it is actually pretty difficult to properly recycle plastic. As a matter of fact, only 9% of plastic is recycled! Aluminum, on the other hand, has over a 50% recovery rate, because it is much easier to recycle and it is in demand. Therefore, by purchasing Mananalu instead of plastic bottles, you’ll be living a more sustainable life.
Kokua Sun Care
Kokua Sun Care is a Hawaii-based sunscreen company that makes reef-safe sunscreen. Typical sunscreen brands have harmful chemicals that actually hurt the reefs, and therefore, sea life in general. These chemicals are so harmful that Hawaii voted to ban all sunscreens with these chemicals by 2021. Sounds like you’ll have to stock up on your Kokua Sun Care sunscreen soon!
MAHALO Skin Care
Everyone has figured out by now that single-use plastic bottles are not great for the environment. And then usually people go to buy a metal Hydroflask or Swell, which are both great options! But why not support one of Hawaii’s local businesses while you’re at it by buying a bottle from 808HIDR8.
Bradley & Lily
This family-owned stationery company is designed and printed locally in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Bradley & Lily has made it onto this list of sustainable businesses in Hawaii, because the covers of all of their notebooks are printed on recycled felt stock. Every little contribution helps to preserve Hawaii’s natural beauty is important.
The ALOHA Collection is a splash-proof pouch created by a California brand with Hawaii roots. While the product itself is not made from sustainable materials, the ALOHA Collection donates 5% of its profits to a conservation organization that helps to protect Hawaii’s natural beauty.
While most of the sustainable businesses in Hawaii on this list started their journey by aiming to make a sustainable alternative, Aloha Cuts‘ entrance into this sphere was almost a happy accident. Aloha Cuts started as an Oahu-based recycling program, which purchased excess inventory from companies all over the island and found new ways to sell them.
A couple of years later, Aloha Cuts decided to try out a new way of selling these excess materials: crafts. After investing in a laser cutter, Aloha Cuts took some of the excess wood they gathered, and started making and selling Hawaii-centric designs. In other words, this company took something that would have gone to waste and turned it into beautiful artwork.
Tolentino Honey Co.
Most people don’t think of honey companies are sustainable. The Tolentino Honey Co. is an exception. Rather than starting off as a honey company, the Tolentino family actually owned a farm. They noticed that there weren’t as many pollinators as before – including bees – so they decided to plant vegetable blossoms that would attract and aid pollinators. After adopting their first hive, more and more bees have filled the Lualualei Valley, creating tons of local, sustainable Tolentino Honey and a lovely home for the bees.
Nurdle in the Rough
Nurdle in the Rough has come up with one of the most creative solutions to plastic pollution. Many people wonder, when plastic pollution is collected, where does it go? Does it just end up going back into the ocean? While many times that is unfortunately true, the artist behind Nurdle in the Rough, Kat Crabill, is doing her part to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Instead of just collecting the plastic pollution, Nurdle in the Rough transforms it into stunning jewelry. And in case you’re in doubt that your jewelry actually came from ocean plastic, the company shows you exactly which plastic piece your jewelry was crafted out of. As if that wasn’t enough, Nurdle in the Rough also donates 10% of its profits to the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
Aala Hawaii is a skincare brand that has taken on the sustainability challenge. The company uses natural or nature-derived ingredients (which are all sustainably-sourced), including algae in particular, to create their products. From cremes to toners to cleansers, Aala Hawaii has an eco-friendly version of practically every skincare product you could want.
While there are so many sustainable businesses in Hawaii, only a few take plastic pollution and turn it into something beautiful. Along with Sundaze Bikinis and Nurdle in the Rough, Micro MAHALO is the only other Hawaii-based company that I’ve come across that does this. This tiny company takes microplastics and recycles them into colorful magnets! On top of that, Micro MAHALO donates 15% of its profits to ocean and beach conservation.
Timpone Hawaii Surfboards
Let’s be real. When you think Hawaii, you think surfing. And guess what? There are a few sustainable surfing brands too! Timpone Hawaii Surfboards was started on Maui, and currently practices sustainable energy, waste, and package practices.
Pacific Islands Surfboards
While Pacific Islands Surfboards isn’t based in Hawaii, surf culture is just so embedded in Hawaii life and this company invested so much in being sustainable that I felt it needed to go on this list anyway. Pacific Islands Surfboards takes sustainable surfboards to a completely different level. These eco-friendly surfboards are actually made from reclaimed and salvaged wood!
The Hawaii footwear brand, Olukai, has found several ways to reduce its environmental footprint. From using natural latex to 30% recycled materials in its outsoles to 100% recycled materials in its packaging, Olukai has found every way to make its products sustainable without compromising its functionality.
While Vans is clearly not a local Hawaii company, this brand actually does quite a lot to help preserve Hawaii’s natural landscapes. Vans hosts the surfing competition, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and this event draws thousands of visitors to the sandy stretches of Oahu’s North Shore each year – along with all of their harmful trash. In order to combat this issue and protect the environment, Vans partners with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a local nonprofit organization that goes out of its way to pick up the trash on Hawaii’s coastlines and sort it into the proper categories. While the most popular pair of Vans is iconic black and white Old Skool style, but why not go for something a little more funky?
Recently, there has been a trend to reduce our use of plastic as much as possible. One form of plastic that we often forget is used all the time is actually sunglasses. Lani Shades is a local company that has come up with an alternative for plastic sunglasses. Lani Shades creates sunglasses made out of wood, including bamboo, kosso, or skateboard wood. Plus, one dollar from each sale supports One Tree Planted and Surfrider Foundation.
Hamakua Hairbrush Company
Another everyday product that we buy that tends to be made of plastic is hairbrushes. Hamakua Hairbrush Company provides an alternative, once again, made out of wood. With four different types of hairbrushes available (and even the option for custom hairbrushes!), you’re sure to find one that you like.
Kona Brewing Co.
I know what you’re probably thinking. A beer company? How can that be one of the sustainable businesses in Hawaii? Well, Kona Brewing Co. has figured out a way to do it! This local beer company actually uses solar energy to power its brewery, on-site gardens to recycle its water, and even leftover grains from the brewing process to make delicious pizzas at its Kailua-Kona brewpub!
Martin & MacArthur
Martin & MacArthur is a Hawaii-based company that focuses on making premier pieces of koa wood furniture and home accessories. Basically, if there is any product that you could’ve ever wanted, Martin & MacArthur probably makes it out of koa wood, a wood that can only be found in Hawaii. From handbags to iPhone covers to watches to coffee tables to beds, Martin & MacArthur really does have it all. To make all of its wonderful jewelry, Martin & MacArthur only uses fallen or dead koa trees, rather than cutting down perfectly healthy trees. In addition, this company has also partnered with Hawaii Legacy Hardwoods to replant koa trees on the Big Island.
What other sustainable businesses in Hawaii have you heard of? Let me know in the comments! (I promise I’ll respond!)
Looking for other fantastic Hawaii products? Here is a list of gifts from Hawaii that you can buy online! Or if you’d like to support local authors instead, here is a list of 10 books you should read before your trip to Hawaii!
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Disclosure: I may use referral links in this post, and I might make a commission from my recommendations at no extra cost to you.