Born from necessity, Earth-minded clothing brand Onepa‘a Hawai‘i quickly became much more than that—now celebrating one year as a platform for perpetuating conscious consumerism and ‘ike Hawai‘i.
Ulūlu adult bodysuit
“A good friend once told me, ‘Food is most natural when born out of necessity,’ and this mana‘o stayed with me,” says Tasha Lyman-Mersereau. It was this same ethos that would serve as the building blocks for her and her husband, Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau, when founding their Earth-minded clothing brand Onepa‘a Hawai‘i.
Organic cotton handmade quilted blanket
Tasha had just started working for a local company in an effort to keep her family financially stable when the pandemic shook the world. After donating her time to the company at no cost, Tasha and her husband needed to find another way to support their family. “I told Kaniela, ‘I just want to try something. It will be nameless—I just want to see what happens,’” Tasha says. She put together a bare-bones framework for an online clothing store, which included a handful of T-shirts and baby clothes.
Flash-forward and that nameless shop turned into a flourishing store, Onepa‘a Hawai‘i. Offering bathing suits, activewear, tees, handmade quilts, kids’ clothing (with Tasha’s top picks highlighted at right) and more, the husband-wife duo create pieces designed in relation to visuals found within a thriving ahupua‘a. From the deep, lush olive green hues of the mountains to the sandy golds and whites to the white and black lava shades you see where the sea meets the sand, almost all of the products represent these collective colors. “In this way, we are sending an artistic expression of our mission: to put ‘āina at the center of our lifestyles,” she says.
Ahupuaʻa adult bodysuit
The brand will soon launch its first two-piece bikini made from REPREVE recycled polyester, offered in the Ulūlu, ʻIwa Pō, Pōhuehue, Pua Aloalo and Māhina design collections—“and maybe even a new one as a surprise,” hints Tasha. Tried-and-true pieces like the 100% cotton (plastic-free) quilts, which are the shop’s most popular item, as well as the one-piece bodysuits, will also be on offer.
Up next for the eco-conscious brand? “We are going to take it day by day, as with each new day things seem to be changing quickly. We will be working hard to navigate the best way forward for our home and family,” notes Tasha.
Hapalua adult bodysuit
Manaiakalani baby onesie
Manaiakalani 100% Organic Fair Trade T-Shirt for Kids
“Aside from its clean, everyday-wearable ʻike Hawaiʻi design, the actual shirt is made of 100% organic cotton certified by GOTS and certified Fair Trade, meaning it is produced in ways that do not harm people, animals or the environment.”
Hina Nalu + Ulu Camo Handmade Baby Quilt in 100% Organic Cotton
“Quilts hold a special place in Hawaiʻi. As a new mother, I now understand how special it is to wrap your new baby up in something that was made responsibly with good intention.”
He Hawaiʻi Au Organic Baby Bomber Jacket
“Our baby bomber is a total throwback in the cutest possible way and of course comes with the Standard 100 OEKOTEX Organic Certification. This is one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances.”
Ulu Ehuehu Denim Keiki Jacket in 100% Organic Cotton
“This newer, beautifully made heirloom item is quickly becoming one of our most loved pieces. It is entirely plastic free in its composition and made from 100% organic cotton.”
Photography by: Courtesy of brand