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Lessons on Eco Friendly Businesses from Hawaii's first Zero Waste Store

Plastic Legislation Shakes the Industry

In 2019, Honolulu passed one of the strictest single-use plastic bans in the country. This was monumental considering Hawaii's lack of recycling infrastructure and a massive tourism industry contributing to the waste production and containment problem. From this ban, businesses that previously had never implemented eco-friendly business practices into their brand were suddenly forced to. From "by request only," to banning plastic bags and single-use plastic service ware, this county law provided a major shake-up in how Hawaii businesses operated.

This bill formed a new industry because, suddenly, there was an understanding and acceptance of a new and sustainable path forward. Protea Zero Waste Store, Hawaii's first zero-waste refill store, was born from this quest to decrease waste.

Education and Adjustment to Eco-Friendly Businesses

While this concept was not new globally, a level of education and an adjustment period were necessary for Hawaii residents. Since then, Protea Zero Waste Store has become a lifestyle brand, selling various plastic-free items and vintage clothing.

It has become a place to shop for everyday items and high-end, curated gifts that will open the recipient's eyes and minds to sustainability.

PlanIt's Initial Work with Protea Zero Waste Store

PlanIt's founder originally met the owner of Protea through working on the single-use plastics legislation. They bonded over the perspective of business and how marketing and economics needed to be addressed to make a smoother transition. We created a video on her story and the inspiration behind it.

Sustainable Brands Align in Mission and Creativity

Since making this initial video, we have enjoyed documenting or co-hosting multiple events and creating photo and video social media content.

It has been an empowering journey alongside Protea and from this working relationship, came a friendship. Working in a sustainable business can be taxing and discouraging. It's important to find other entrepreneurs who share your vision, mission, and values so you can serve as each other's cheerleaders in times of need.

We are so grateful to have met Lori and worked with her business. Of her work with us, Lori says,

"I have had and continue to have creative, positive, and inspiring experiences working with Alex and her team. She has been able to grasp the beauty, concept, and mission of our brand and translate that on camera on multiple occasions, whether that be film or photos, going above and beyond what I had even imagined. I really enjoy working with Alex because I am able to free flow ideas with her and every time we come up with something magical. Her vision is clear, work is high quality and everything is done in a timely manner. I appreciate her attention to detail and passion for perfection - that is why her work stands out above the rest!  I can't recommend her and her team enough!" 

Check out her website- where you can find many of the amazing eco-gift items she carries in the store. If you live in Hawaii or plan to visit, head over to Kailua, check out her store in person, and give her a follow on Instagram!


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