Introducing For, a brand that is committed to promoting sustainable and eco-friendly living. Every decision made by the brand is influenced by its values, from the products it offers to how it interacts with the community.
For showcases natural products have a positive impact on the island of Hawaii, which is their home. The founder, Keely Nakama, emphasizes the importance of responsible consumption to protect and preserve the island and the environment.
Every brand has its own story, that of its creator.
Today, we want to introduce you to the person behind For Simple Sustainability, a brand that inspires us and with whom we share at Casia their values, ethical business practices, and a perspective that is not just a way, but also a way of life.
It is a true reflection of how our own story intertwines and merges with our life projects.
When a brand represents and reflects the essence of its creator, everything falls into its natural place.
It's a story that stems from the combination of her personal journey and her own passions.
A spearfisher and seamstress, her story is an intersection of multiple hobbies that have come to embody who she is today.
This personal journey, fueled by her passions, begins with the imprint her upbringing in Hawaii left on her, as well as her bond with her father, a profound lover of the sea, who instilled in her a deep connection with the ocean from a very young age.
"As a sixth-generation plantation product and a mixed-race child living in bustling Hawaii, it added another layer to my awareness of the complex challenges our islands face. Being a local kid without Hawaiian blood and being able to call this place home is not a luxury I take lightly, and For was my response to addressing my part of this intricate puzzle."
With the launch of For, her goal was clear. She wanted to create intentional and beautiful pieces that could replace disposable waste that is discarded daily. Since trash on an island doesn't just disappear; it accumulates. With over 1.5 million residents and more than 9.4 million tourists visiting each year, keeping waste levels low is an absolute necessity. Therefore, in crafting sustainable alternatives, she meticulously selects materials, down to the thread itself, for their minimal environmental impact and their ability to naturally decompose once they have served their purpose. Since moving to Kakaako, For has taken a significant step by introducing a refill bar that offers local and safe alternatives to products that would otherwise harm the environment.
Keely Nakama tells us that what keeps her motivated to do what she does is a calling, which she describes as a mix of consciousness, passion, and the influences of her upbringing.
A potential source of inspiration in her upbringing is her hippie grandmother, with whom she has vivid memories from a very young age, swimming in the tide pools of the North Shore, trying to touch the fish that swam very close to her.
Her grandmother told her a phrase that resonated as deeply as the ocean,
"Be one with the ocean."
Another influential figure in this drive is her father, who instilled in the family a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment.
He would take them all to the beach and make sure they didn't leave until they had picked up at least 15 pieces of trash. His constant reminder that "the ocean provides and we need to protect it" has remained ingrained throughout her life.
Being a sixth-generation resident without Hawaiian blood, I feel a deep responsibility to honor, protect, and preserve this place that I call home. Ultimately, it's a combination of these experiences and many more that have shaped me into the person I am today, with a strong commitment to sustainability and a mission to make a positive impact on the environment and community.
In both my work at For Simple Sustainability and my everyday life, I aim to convey a set of core values and interests that kind of serve as my compass.
- Sustainability: At the heart of everything I do is an unwavering commitment to sustainability. This value is not just a business model but a way of life. I believe that each small change we make can collectively create a significant positive impact on our environment, our community, and our world.
Authenticity: Authenticity is a key pillar of our work. We strive to be genuine and transparent in our approach, from the materials we use in our products to the way we engage with our customers and community. Our goal is to provide real solutions for sustainable living.
Community: Both in my professional and personal life, I place great importance on community engagement. We believe that sustainability isn't just about the products we offer; it's about building a supportive and informed community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the same cause.
Local Support: Supporting local businesses and artisans is a value that I hold close. It's a way to give back to the community that has nurtured me, and it's an essential aspect of our work at For. We source locally whenever possible to contribute to the economic well-being of Hawaii.
Responsibility: Responsibility is a value that extends to the broader issues of social and environmental impact. We're mindful of the consequences of our choices, from the materials we use to the waste we generate. We believe that every business has a responsibility to address these issues head-on.
Cultural Preservation: Hawaii's rich cultural heritage is something I deeply respect and value. It influences the way we approach sustainability, making sure it aligns with the traditions and values of the islands.
Responsible consumption means making mindful choices when purchasing and using products and services. It's a critical aspect of sustainability, as it reduces waste, conserves resources, and minimizes the environmental and social impact of consumer behavior. Brands as a whole have significant influence and I believe a duty to society and the environment. A successful brands ethos alone has the power to influence how a consumer thinks about the purchases for the rest of time. I personally feel like consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the effect of products and electing to support brands that dedicate themselves to a similar cause when making purchasing decisions. I think we should be supporting brands that contribute to environmental protection, support fair labor practices, and put transparency at the forefront of what they do.
Responsible consumption is not only about buying eco-friendly products but also considering factors like product durability, ethical production, and ethical labor practices. It's a key element in the effort to address environmental and social challenges. Likewise, recycling is an essential practice in resource conservation. It helps divert materials from landfills, conserves energy (when done correctly), and reduces the demand for raw resources. I see lots of slander on recycling, as a means for corporate greed, but I think we need to remember that recycling is most effective when combined with reduced consumption and responsible REGENERATIVE product design.
That's why Keely, as the founder of For, inspires us. We share her vision, her passion, and her way of seeing life. Her brand identity, values, and environmental consciousness are part of the essence of our own story. That's why Casia is now in her store in Hawaii. Our pieces travel to new territories, preserving and reaffirming their identity. We are Casia, we are the nature that surrounds us. Wherever our pieces go, they carry their essence like a flag.