NONA are the brilliant brand behind these ultra-durable clothes pegs, made from recovered fishing nets and ropes that would otherwise be in landfill or polluting our oceans.

Not only is it tricky to fault NONA's eco credentials (they're actually climate positive due to responsible reforestation with their partners ON A MISSION), but their products are seriously sturdy too. This is thanks to both the toughness of the material itself and the seamless one-piece construction - you'll find no pesky hinges or weak points here. Unlike almost any traditional spring peg the NONA peg won't bat an eyelid if you step on it.

Next in our Meet the Maker series, we chat to founder Alex about these unique and seriously sustainable products.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Alex Theodorou, and I am the founder of NONA. I have a background in product development, branding, and packaging. NONA was conceived in 2020.

What was the driving force behind setting up NONA?

The realisation that we need to find a different way to produce and 'consume' (the term ‘consumer’ is a terrible choice of word!) products has become apparent. We live on a planet with finite resources and within a biosphere that we are increasingly pushing beyond sustainable limits. NONA's mission is to embrace circularity and produce long-lasting, useful everyday objects that are made almost entirely from recycled materials.

NONA is an acronym for 'no oceans, no air.' While we are all aware of the destruction of our rainforests, it is important to note that over 50% of Earth's oxygen actually comes from our oceans. Every year, 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enters the world's oceans, and by 2050, ocean plastic will outweigh fish. We are only just beginning to understand the impact this plastic is having on the ocean, its inhabitants, and ultimately, ourselves.

Meet the maker nona ocean plastic pegs

Tell us about your materials. How do you source your recycled ocean plastic?

The plastic we use comes from an interception program that reimburses fishing communities for their retired fishing gear. These nets and ropes would otherwise end up in landfills, be incinerated, or become ocean-bound.

Fishing gear lost at sea is known as 'ghost nets.' Not only do these nets contribute to ocean plastic, but as they drift, they also continue to catch fish, mammals, and birds, causing harm and fatalities among wildlife. By using this material, we are actively diverting plastic from entering the environment and drawing attention to the issue of ghost nets and ocean plastic.

How did you come up with the design of the pegs & loop system? 

Simplicity means durability, and we approach every product with this mindset. NONA PIN is a modern take on the traditional dolly peg. We worked on a whole range of concepts to create the best-performing and most durable peg possible. As for NONA LOOP, our goal was to design a compact modular system that enables users to maximise available space. To bring LOOP to life, we collaborated with British product designer Ben Atkinson from the firm Lunio Design.

 meet the maker made by nona ocean plastic pegs

Is there anything that frustrates you about similar products on the market?

Yes, obsolescence! Whether intentional or unintentional, on a finite planet, we simply cannot continue mining resources, manufacturing objects, and discarding them into landfills after progressively shorter lifespans. History will show that the most financially 'successful' companies are those that have mastered this consumer cycle, but at what cost? This failure is as much an issue of economics as it is of product design, manufacture, and retail.

What key things make your products different from others on the market?

Besides our obsessive objective to manufacture products using materials as close to 100% recycled as possible while ensuring durability and longevity, we also approach our products in a holistic way. We injection mould in the UK, ensuring the highest standards of environmental and ethical manufacturing while reducing our carbon footprint.

meet the maker made by nona ocean plastic pegs

Which is your favourite piece in the collection and why?

I love the simplicity of NONA PIN, but NONA LOOP is fantastic. We have three set up at home (in addition to the one in the garden): one in a spare bedroom, another in the outdoor office, and the third in our extension. Living in the UK means they get a lot of use, even during the summer!

Have you got any exciting plans for NONA over the next year?

At NONA we are always innovating, so watch this space! 

Tell us about a product in your life that has lasted a really long time.

We have had a 3-slice Dualit Toaster since around 2001. It is used daily, and I replaced the elements for the first time this year. Now, it's set to last another 20 years - an incredible product. I must confess that the toaster acts as a daily reminder to me of how products should be. Thank you Dualit.

Tell us about a frustrating time a product of yours broke.

Sadly, there have been far too many examples! Quite often, products fail after just a few uses. I always prefer repairing over replacing whenever possible. I have a hole punch that has been fixed half a dozen times! What frustrates me the most are broken products that are beyond repair. Simplicity and durability are key.

Browse NONA's full collection of hardwearing, planet-positive products here.

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July 12, 2023 — Georgie Crosswell