It’s that special time of the year again when cities are strung with lights, the first humpback whales of the season arrive, and everyone starts thinking seriously about the gifts they’ll be giving this year. With big businesses dominating holiday sales and Black Friday ads everywhere you look, it’s important to be intentional about what we purchase and the businesses we support this holiday season. From promoting the culture of overconsumption to the insane amount of trash produced, there’s a laundry list of issues that arise during this time of the year (we’ll save that for another article), but we’re here to encourage you to think locally and shop small with a few of our favorite eco-friendly Hawaii small businesses.
When you choose to shop with a small business, it truly means the world because we see each and every order that comes in! Below are just a few of my favorite eco-friendly Hawaii small businesses that support the planet and people. You’ll find some great gift ideas for each and every person on your list!
This sustainable swimwear brand designs surf suits and stay-put swimwear in small batches that are made from recycled materials. From ethical manufacturing to using 100% plastic-free packaging, Kaiona Swimwear promotes the slow fashion lifestyle and puts the planet first. The brand is known for its hand-drawn exclusive prints, reversible and seamless bikinis, and cheeky designs.
Shop BOGO 50% site wide including sale items during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend (November 22-27) or purchase a holiday bundle and save up to $90!
‘Ulu and Kalo Bakery
‘Ulu and Kalo Bakery was created in order to provide healthier baked goods for the local community that are made with ‘ulu (breadfruit) and kalo (taro). Their mission is to get ‘ulu and kalo back into the daily diet and to support farmers growing canoe plants. The bakery is focused on sustainability for the body by using the best, whole-food ingredients that create a satisfying indulgence. ‘Ulu and Kalo Bakery’s popular items include kalo brownies, banana and ‘ulu bread, ‘ulu flour cupcakes and muffins, cookies, crackers, and chocolate kalo cake.
Kūmana Activewear is an environmentally responsible men's and women's activewear brand designed in Hawaiʻi, by Hawaiʻi, for Hawaiʻi. Kūmana utilizes materials that are intentionally chosen, down to the last detail. Their packaging is home-compostable and their fabrics are made of recycled plastics and organic bamboo to create collections inspired by nohona Hawaiʻi. Kūmana’s ever-popular Ua Collection, inspired by Red Hill, highlights how important fresh water is, and their latest Nā Manu ʻŌiwi Collection acts as a haunting conversation between extinct and endangered native honeycreepers. A portion of the profits from Nā Manu ʻŌiwi will be donated to the Friends of Hakalau Forest Endowment to support their efforts in native bird and habitat conservation.
To earn a discount, check out their IG story highlights!
Hawai’i is known for its world-renowned coffee, but it may come as a surprise that there’s a brand brewing coffee in Waimanalo. Founded in 2015, Hoku Coffee is a family-owned sustainable business that incentivizes customers to return their used glass bottles for a refund so they can be cleaned and reused over and over again. The company also reuses all of the kegs for their nitro cold brew coffees. Hoku Coffee offers three 100% locally produced beans (no 10% blends) that are grown in Maui and Waialua on the North Shore. They also have 100% certified organic and 100% fair trade options as well.
Meli Wraps was created on the North Shore of Kauaʻi in 2016 in an effort to reduce plastic waste locally and eventually globally. A meli wrap is the perfect eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap and sandwich bags. They are made with certified organic cotton, Hawaiian beeswax, and plant oils to create a seal over a bowl, cup, or food item. Meli Wraps are washable and reusable for up to two years and finally compostable after that. By purchasing Meli Wraps you are supporting a small woman-owned business, organic farming, local beekeeping (and bees), local jobs, and ocean conservation!
Save up to 40% during Black Friday, then up to 30% after!
This gift box is consciously curated. We collaborate directly with indigenous creatives, artists, and small businesses who offer their skills and products with love, intention, and honoring of the land. All artists are supported directly and generously offer their items at wholesale prices allowing us to present a high-value box at a very reasonable price. We aim to bring indigenous representation to the gift box industry and share the gifts of our kin and cultures with all people. Native communities celebrate the changing of the seasons in various ways and we bring awareness to that practice with consciously curated boxes that celebrate the change of seasons.
The Winter Solstice Box is dropping on November 25th!
Honey Bird Vintage
Based out of Hawai’i Island, Honey Bird Vintage is a mother-and-daughter-run small business that focuses on rescuing vintage fabrics and other craft items headed for the landfill and turning them into something new. Everything is handmade and zero waste! Honey Bird Vintage is known for its scrunchies, hair bows, and headbands, but also creates jewelry, ribbon skirts, upcycled clothing, beeswax food wraps, candles, and more.
Do you know of an eco-friendly Hawaii small business that we missed on our list? Let us know in the comments! We’re always on the lookout to support and collaborate with other like-minded brands.