About the owner, Arles Dupont

I grew up on a small barrier island in South Jersey, and from a very young age, I fell in love with the ocean through the sport of surfing. My passion for water, and the marine life within it, influenced my decision to enroll at Stockton University, where I majored in Biology/Marine Biology and minored in Holistic Health. After completing my degree, I decided to embark on an adventure and become a yoga teacher. In 2014, I completed my first Yoga Teacher Training in Mexico, sparking another passion of mine: travel.

Travel has played a huge role in my life, and I spend my winters in various locations, soaking up the culture and embracing new experiences. Through my travels, I gained a deeper appreciation for the natural world, and how it can be preserved through sustainable practices. During my time living on Oahu, Hawai'i, the concept for ‘Āina came into existence in 2020. I was extremely inspired by the reverence and respect Hawaiians had for their land, known as Aloha ‘Aina in the Hawaiian language. The Hawaiian way of life helped me become more connected to the land and all of its offerings, and I wanted to spread that same spirit and connection that I formed to my community.

About five years ago, I began implementing zero-waste practices by slowly swapping out single-use plastic items in my home for more long-lasting sustainable items. In my journey to waste less, I became a more mindful shopper. I started making sure to remember my reusable coffee cups, ditched the plastic water bottles, and refused plastic bags. I also began to research different brands and their values and ethics to figure out how to cut out monopoly corporations that didn’t seem to have the planet or my best intentions in mind. I knew I was doing good, and in turn, I felt good. That’s how I want you to feel.

My goal for ‘Āina is to make zero waste as easy and accessible as possible so that we can effortlessly do our part in giving back to the land that gives so much to us. I believe that small actions can make a big difference, and that everyone can contribute to a more sustainable future. Through ‘Āina, I hope to inspire others to make conscious choices about the products they use and the companies they support.

Arles Dupont