Getting Greener with Peita Pini




March 13, 2023

Growing up north of Sydney, surrounded by nature and living off the land, sustainability has always been a core value for Peita and we were keen to know more…

Tired of throwing out rotten fruit and veg every week, Peita set out on a mission to find a solution… Enter The Swag.

A patented bag that keeps produce crisp, healthy & happy for weeks (not days), helping you reduce food waste, take fewer trips to the shops... with the confidence that your fruit & veg will last much longer!

Launched in 2016, and named after the iconic Australian bushman’s swag, Peita and The Swag Australia have been helping to reduce waste and emissions ever since.

We spoke to Peita to find out more…

What motivated you to start a sustainable business?

When I had children of my own, I was more conscious of the extent of fresh food waste in my own home. I started to notice condensation building up inside the plastic bag or container I was storing my veggies in. I realised I was storing my food in toxic materials, and watching them sweat. Fresh produce is living and breathing, and all living things need air and water to survive. So, I set out to fix the problem.

I knew nothing of online retail, manufacturing, textiles or the patent and trademarking process. Years of trial and error in the kitchen with my mum (a former farmer) resulted in creating a design that really worked.

In addition I built a business that is purpose-driven on multiple levels. In its first year, The Swag donated 100% of its profits to Destiny Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating children from human trafficking. Up until December 2022, Swag Australia had donated over 18% of its net profit to support Destiny Rescue and will continue to donate a minimum of 5% of its net profits annually to the charity in the future.

How is your brand taking action to reduce your impact on climate change?

With the average Australian household throwing away over $2,000 worth of food each year, Swag Australia’s primary mission is to provide households with a simple, effective and affordable solution to reduce both food and plastic waste, and the cost of fresh produce to the household budget, with net profits donated to rescuing children from human trafficking.
Food waste is a global problem. Only one third of all food produced is lost or wasted, and this equates to around 1.3 billion tonnes of food. On top of that, the world recycles less than 9% of plastic created. With big numbers like these and the ongoing concerns for the welfare of our environment, it was so important for me to create a business that delivered meaningful and measurable change.

What green initiatives are you most proud of?

Reducing food waste is one of the top three largest green initiatives. Swag Australia is helping hundreds of thousands of households around the world significantly reduce their household food waste and plastic pollution.
Since 2018, globally Swag Australia has saved over 26,137 tons of fruit and vegetables and over 9.6 million single-use plastic bags from going to landfill (see an example of how this is measured in The Swag’s 2021/2022 report).
By 2030, Swag Australia will empower over 1 billion people globally to live waste and plastic-free, with 5% of net profits donated to Destiny Rescue, resulting in over 10,000 children freed from trafficking and provided long-term rehabilitation.

Here are some hard facts (source: Oz Harvest) that Swag Australia is directly taking action to change:

  • The top five most wasted foods in Australia are vegetables, bread, fruit, bagged salad, and leftovers.
  • Almost half of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted (that’s 3.7 trillion apples).
  • Eliminating global food waste would save 4.4 million tonnes of C02 a year, the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road.
  • Up to 10% of global greenhouse gases comes from food that is produced, but not eaten.
  • Wasting food is worse than total emissions from flying (1.9%), plastic production (3.8%) and oil extraction (3.8%).
  • Food rotting in landfill releases methane – 28x stronger than carbon dioxide

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to get greener, and how have you tackle this?

Our biggest challenge is trying to get our products made in Australia using Australian grown cotton. The majority of our Aussie grown cotton is milled in India or China and we import it back into Australia. So it’s roughly the same carbon footprint if you manufacture in India and import back into Australia.

Who else do you think is doing sustainability well and why?  

The list is extremely long, but here are some off the top of my head:

  • Planet Protector (female founded)
  • Pleasant State  (female founded)
  • Booty
  • MCI Carbon  (female founded)
  • Biode  (female founded)

What has been the most surprising or rewarding thing you’ve encountered on your journey to becoming more sustainable?  

The love, support and kindness from our customers and wholesalers - they are truly incredible humans and we are regularly blown away by them!

Why is being a founding partner of the Green Economy important to you?

For me, sustainability is all about legacy. It's the example I’ve set for my children and all children. It’s what I leave behind for our future generations. It’s the real difference I’ve made for the future of the planet and its wildlife (humans included). Plus, it’s balancing the legacy with what is needed now for environmental care, social well-being and economic growth.

Massive shoutout to Peita for having a chat and sharing her story.

If you're tired of throwing out rotten fruit and veg too, why not check out The Swag Australia here

Or if you're a business that's interested in finding out more about joining the Green Economy, get in touch today.