Let’s start with Happy Earth Day, friends! You don’t need us to tell you it’s been a heck of a year since the last one. The pandemic has given us all a lot to deal with, but also a tonne of time to reflect on the world, how we live, and how issues that weren’t taken seriously blew up into issues that stopped the world in its tracks. But we’re hopeful. Consumer values are shifting significantly, and doing business sustainably has been bumped off the back-burner for most brands, and is now a priority. We’re moving in an encouraging direction, but there’s always so much more to be done.
Here is Jonny's founders Bec, Bec and Sam on sustainability, the scary trend of eco-sexuals and why using a condom is less taxing on the planet than an accidental baby...
Firstly, let's talk about how Jonny came to be eco-conscious? Why did you all decide to create a condom brand with a sustainable/ eco mindset?
Sam: It has always been an intrinsic value of mine that whatever product we bring into this world has to be environmentally considered.
Bec V: It's hard not to feel the weight of the current state of the planet on our shoulders right now. It is impossible to ignore, and we have a responsibility as humans and business owners to do our bit to help our home. And in the very initial ideation and brand development stages, the three of us were very clear in knowing that we needed to find ways to offset the fact that a condom is a single-use plastic, and so found other ways to be conscious and make Mama Nature a priority.
Eco-sexuals: people ditching condoms out of concern for the planet, and at the expense of their own sexual health and the health of others. All while STIs are on the rise. What are your thoughts on this?
Bec P: Oh yep.. I have a lot to say about this. Let me start with…
Bec V: Having unsafe sex ‘for the good of the planet’ is hard logic to swallow. Unwanted pregnancy will categorically take a much larger bite out of the planet’s resources. STIs are a very real and likely risk for those engaging regularly in unsafe sex. STI medication, some of which might be required for life, has its own environmental impact. Studies have only recently begun to research the impact of pharmaceuticals (i.e. meds which countries consume in the thousands of tons) on the planet, but recent studies detected low levels of a wide range of pharmaceuticals in soils, surface waters and ground waters. It’s easy to think ‘By not using a condom I’m saving the world from a piece of litter’, but thinking beyond that, the impact of the alternatives is much bigger, longer lasting and puts people’s health in real danger.
Bec P: Exactly! Within the three pillars of sustainability (people, planet, profits), there will almost always need to be a compromise between the three. Thinking big picture, a single-use condom is a much, much smaller price for the planet to pay than the alternative consequences of unsafe sex. On top of that, you’re looking after your health and that of your sexual partners, while reducing unnecessary economic consumption (i.e. medications, health system pressure etc). Never, ever risk your health or the health of others. Use eco-conscious condoms and continue in all other areas of life to make well-researched, eco-friendly choices.
Tell us about FabLittleBags and Jonny’s mantra, 'Be A Lover, Not A Flusher'.
Bec P: Flushed condoms is a problem we wanted to solve from the outset. Condoms don’t break down in water, not even natural latex ones, which has devastating effects on our waterways and marine life. We needed to entice people to dispose of condoms responsibly and easily. FabLittleBags were originally designed for proper disposal of tampons and pads, as these things are flushed in horrifying volumes too. FabLittleBags are biodegradable, and made with 70% renewable sources (plants) and 30% recycled plastics. Together, we were a natural fit - no pun intended ;)
What is one simple choice that everyone can make to work towards a better future for our planet?
Sam: Recycle, re-use as much as you possibly can.
Bec V: Be open-minded and committed to learning. Knowledge is empowerment and a great way to form connections and conversations with others. We are all in this together, it’s our home, and we can all learn, trust and grow with one another to help the planet.
Do you think consumers are more inclined to buy an eco conscious brand over a non-eco conscious brand?
Bec P: Absolutely!! Can't wait for 'eco conscious’ to just be normal!
Sam: Definitely - we see it more with the younger generations, they are eco conscious from a very young age.
What are some other eco-conscious brands that you love and support?
What planet-friendly choices do you make in your daily life?
Bec P: Every day presents new options, but one I can definitely recommend is joining the Zero Co revolution, a cleaning-products subscription delivered in recycled plastics and refillable pouches. We also changed to re-usable makeup removers/face cleaners a few years back...never looked back.
Sam: Use my refillable water bottle!
If you could go back and tell your 16-year-old self to make one change in life for the good of the planet, what would it be?
Bec P: Don’t ever flush your tampons or condoms down the toilet – one day you’ll start a business to help fix that mess ;)
Sam: Don’t brush your teeth in the shower and don’t flush your tampons down the toilet!
Bec V: Buy second hand where possible. And know where your meat comes from.
In the real-life superhero world of earnest earth saving, who’s the eco hero you'd like to have at your dinner table, and why?
Bec P: Greta Thunberg every day of the week, because she’s ferociously intelligent and I’m just in awe of her passion and fearlessness.
Sam: Emily Penn - she is tackling ocean plastic pollution - another topic close to my heart. She is solution oriented in her thinking with such a positive spirit rather than feeling defeated on environmental issues.
Bec V: Besides the obvious David Attenborough (the love runs deep there), I'd have to say Nina Karnikowski. Nina is an amazing travel journalist who has written two incredible books on sustainable travel and how we can tread a little lighter on this earth as we see the sights. As an adventurer at heart, this definitely speaks to me. With Greta, Emily, David and Nina at our Jonny dinner table, that is one juicy night of earth-shakin’ conversation!