Reusing 5.5 million Plastic Drink Bottles with Hayley Clarke, co-owner and MD at Onya (episode 431)

Hayley Clarke is the co-owner and managing director at Onya. The business has been trading since 2004 and Hayley and her partner bought it in 2015. Onya is selling products that help customers reduce their use of single-use plastic via their WooCommerce site where they get over 25,000 visitors a month, AND they have over 700 wholesale customers globally.

Hayley Clarke Onya on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

Listen now for free:

Subscribe on your Favourite Podcast App

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

About Onya

  • A global business that ships all over the world
  • Sells direct-to-consumer and also does B2B

Onya is all about reducing waste that comes from plastic and providing alternatives. One of their best-selling products is their bread bags, which Hayley says was born out of listening to their customers and understanding their needs.

Acquiring an Existing Business

After working with a national retail business for about ten years, the opportunity came up to purchase Onya from the original owners.

Hayley says starting a business from scratch can be daunting and a really big step. Buying Onya, which was already up and running, allowed her to get a feel for manufacturing and understand that side of the business without having to start something completely new.

And while Hayley loves retail and its face-to-face nature, it is hard work and takes up a lot of your time. Doing eCommerce has given her the chance to do what she enjoys while not being tied down on weekends.

Replacing Single-Use Plastic

Hayley explains that when they started out, their aim was to replace single-use plastics. Plastic in itself is not bad, but the challenge is getting people to avoid single-use plastics because this is where the problem comes from.

Onya produces different types of reusable bags, such as produce bags, lunch wraps, and other food bags. On the product development side, Hayley says they look at ways where they can be most used and use customer feedback to come up with products that will be used over and over again.

Relaunching the Brand

When Hayley and her partner took over Onya, they knew they had to freshen up the brand and introduce a new look. They relaunched the website, and together with that, they also introduced responsible packaging that uses recycled materials and soy-based ink, making it recyclable and compostable.

They also went after the B2B market because they knew that, even with eCommerce, B2B would allow them to gain traction much faster.

What It Means to be B Corp Certified

For Hayley, taking over Onya meant building a brand that people could trust. And as they were already a company built around sustainability, Hayley says becoming B Corp certified was the natural progression for the business.

Hayley believes that being assessed by an independent body as a company doing good for the planet gave their retail customers a certain level of trust.

Hayley adds that with the certification, bigger corporations are now talking to them about purchasing their sustainable products and supporting them.

The process of becoming certified may have taken a bit of time, but for Hayley, it was absolutely worth the effort.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Hannah, email marketing is one of the most effective tools you can use to convert customers.

For the latest Email marketing advice, have a listen to our sister show Keep Optimising

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • The conversion rate from emails is really high, so grow your email list to develop your revenue consistently.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Taking a sustainable, money saving brand to £5m a year with Helen Rankin from Cheeky Wipes (episode 388)
  • Double Your Shopify Sales every Year with Story and Product – SOLIOS watches’ Samuel Leroux (episode 403)
  • The power of tapping into an under-served market with Startup Tiwani Heritage (episode 413)

Without the sponsors the podcast wouldn’t be possible – please do check them out:

Have you accessed our FREE Excess Stock Training yet?

We’re solving your overstock problem!

  • Do you have stock in your warehouse you desperately need to turn back into cash?
  • Do you want to know how you can sell more stock at full price?
  • Do you want to leverage your stock to improve your profits, cashflow, and environmental impact?

Then it’s time to get your FREE ticket to our brand new training resource 

You’re going to learn how to tackle the problem of overstocks – BOTH how to avoid them, and how to clear them. 

Sign up now to get your FREE access to all the replays

tidio logo

Tidio is a top-rated customer success software that helps small and medium businesses grow their sales through excellent customer service. Combining live chat, chatbots, and ticketing, Tidio is the go-to solution for over 300,000 companies worldwide.

Tidio enables you to manage all your communication channels in one dashboard, making it super easy for your support team to handle all customer inquiries. Tidio AI helps you automate more than 40% of support responses and increases your sales by recommending products and offering discounts to your website visitors.

Increase customer satisfaction and sales with personalized shopping experiences.

Visit our site to start using Tidio and get an exclusive discount for eCommerce MasterPlan podcast listeners by using the promo code MASTERPLAN.

AppSumo deals

Discover AppSumo

We’re massive AppSumo fans at eCommerce MasterPlan – Chloe and the team will have used at least 10 tools we’ve bought from their lifetime deals marketplace to create and promote this episode.

Checkout AppSumo today to find a low cost solution to your business problems.

Full transcript to read & download:

Click to access

Like to be a guest? Apply Here