Brand Breakdown: ONYA

*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by Onya or any other invested party


If you’re looking to make some sustainable switches in the way you do your shopping and what you carry out and about in your day to day life, then Aussie brand Onya might have the goodies you need. Onya is a B Corp certified company that specializes in high quality, reusable lifestyle items such that you can easily keep “on ya.” The Onya brand is dedicated to helping consumers reduce their use of single-use plastic. They also provide consumers with high-quality products that can make it easy for them to switch from their usual items to ones that are kinder to the planet. Their current product range, which has won multiple awards, includes different kinds of reusable bags, backpacks, coffee cups, and “one of the highest quality stainless steel drink bottle ranges on the Australian market.”

Onya takes sustainability seriously. A quick look around their website will show you that not only are their products helping consumers be good to the environment, but their manufacturing and sourcing has also been designed to tread lightly on the planet. To find out how Onya is doing this and to get to know the brand better, we reached out to a representative from the brand.


OWNERSHIP

Onya is based in Western Australia and is not overseen by a parent company. It is privately owned and 50% female-owned. It was founded in 2004 by Jon Brousson who, after much frustration with single-use plastic, decided to create what would be Onya’s first reusable shopping bag.


INGREDIENTS & RAW MATERIALS

All of Onya’s reusable bags (produce, bread, bulk food, shopping, side), backpacks, and lunch wraps rPET material - a fabric made from recycled 100% BPA-Free plastic drink bottles. So they are quite literally taking plastic waste from landfills and turning it into something reusable for many years to come.

Onya's compostable certifications

Their compostable bin liners and dog waste disposal bags are certified compostable (including home compostable certified) to Australian, European, United States, and Japanese standards. 


SOURCING & PRODUCTION

As far as material sourcing goes, a Fair Trade certification doesn’t really apply to Onya’s products and the materials they need to produce them. However, they “ensure that all (their) manufacturers pass all internationally approved standards* in both social and environmental audits.”


Onya manufactures all its products in China. The main reason for outsourcing their production to China has to do with the high cost of employment in **OECD member countries, which includes Australia. Producing their products in these countries will most likely make final retail prices uncompetitive, or even unaffordable for many people. Despite what that may sound like, they assure consumers that their products are responsibly made. Onya has made it their mission “to only partner with those manufacturing partners who uphold our same ideals for social and environmental responsibility.” As one of the oldest reusable bag and bottle companies in Australia, they have established and maintained “partnerships with overseas businesses who uphold our ethics on sustainability & ethical treatment of their staff.”

They update their audits regularly to ensure compliance from manufacturing partners and, if possible, improvement. They also visit their suppliers regularly throughout the year to make sure that their principles and standards for producing “responsibly made” products are being upheld. Onya hopes that it’s this attention to detail that will give consumers the confidence that all Onya products will have been “sourced with both ethical production and the sustainable support of the environment in mind.”


You can learn more about how Onya products are responsibly made here.

*The international standards for the environmental audits are:

ISO 14001: specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance.

SA8000: international certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace and deals with issues such as working conditions and pay


**OECD members are defined as those member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade



PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS

Onya’s commitment to sustainability is also evident in their packaging. They also use post-consumer recycled material and print with water-based ink for their packaging to make it suitable for both recycling and composting. Shipping is also low waste and plastic-free. They use FSC certified shipping envelopes that are 100% recyclable and reuse boxes and packing materials whenever possible.

As for the products themselves, the entire Onya range is 100% recyclable at the end of the products’ life. The bags are recyclable anywhere that accepts rPET materials and in the case that a recycler cannot be found locally, consumers can recycle with Terracycle. They will accept not only the bags but also the stainless steel drink bottles and silicone coffee cups. Alternatively, customers can return old products to Onya themselves and the company will recycle them. This makes Onya a 100% zero waste business providing a closed-loop system for everything they produce.



GIVING BACK & ADVOCACY

Onya is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support and fund innovative solutions for environmental issues. Onya says that “with this commitment, we are taking further responsibility for the health of our planet by donating 1% of our total retail sales to environmental nonprofits creating positive change.”

What this means for consumers is that with every Onya purchase you make, 1% of said purchase will be donated on your behalf to causes and partners through 1% for the Planet. You can learn more about Onya’s 1% for the Planet membership here.


DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY

According to Onya’s representative, 80% of their workforce is female. They also employ some workers with disabilities and have said that they are “open to all races, genders, and backgrounds and welcome the diversity.”

Onya's products are built on the idea that we should all tread lightly on our planet, which is why it's important that they adhere to this principle as well. Onya's brand representative tells us that, "as a company who prides itself on being sustainable, it is very important to us that we apply the principles of sustainability to every aspect of our business from packaging to products and work toward creating a company built around the goal of a circular economy." 


Seeing them not only meet that goal but in some ways even exceeding it is satisfying and reassuring. Whether you are looking to get yourself started on reducing waste when you're out and about, or a zero-waste veteran just needing some replacements or some convenient solutions you can keep "on ya," we encourage you to check out the Onya range.



Onya is available internationally through its website, however, only Australian orders can enjoy free shipping.