Meet our Friday Muse Jayden Klinac, founder and CEO of Anew

28 September 2023
By Fashion Quarterly

Meet Jayden Klinac, the face behind Anew, whose innovative solutions are shaping a better planet, one day at a time.

For Jayden Klinac, starting his own business was never part of the plan. Raised in Pōneke/Wellington, Klinac booked a one way ticket to Europe while everyone else went on to university. “Travelling alone at 18 opened my mind and made me think in ways I had never thought before,” he explains, “I owe a lot to that trip and the lessons I learnt. Travelling around all of the different cultures broke me out of my small-thinking mindset and helped me realise that there is more than one way of doing something, which led to increasing my curiosity and looking at life with an expanded view, always exploring if something could be done differently, or better.” 

Upon returning to Aotearoa, he pursued a degree at Otago University, majoring in Consumer and Applied Sciences. “Dunedin was another rapid growth period for me, mainly in my ability to focus on something and work hard to achieve it,” says Klinac. It was during this period that the founder also developed an interest in the concepts of circularity and sustainability, eventually leading him to launch his first venture, Honest Coffee Co, the world’s first fully compostable coffee capsules. “As part of my working life as a teenager I started to really enjoy making coffee. One of my school friends who had also come to Otago was living there with me and he got a Nespresso machine for his birthday. I was so interested in this little machine – it was revolutionary in a way,” says Klinac. “At this stage of my life, I had never thought about where the things go that we throw in the bin. I threw something away and it disappeared, it was as simple as that. The Nespresso machine changed that for me.” 

Having studied design as one of his majors in university, Klinac enjoyed using his skills to problem solve, eventually developing a type of coffee pod that was fully compostable. “After almost a year of enthusiastically failing, but learning a whole lot, I had a breakthrough,” he says, “Through a distribution partnership with a company in Europe who had been working on the same problem, I managed to start my first company and launch the first compostable capsule for Nespresso machines into New Zealand and Australia.”

Since then, Klinac has been involved in founding a number of local companies with a shared goal to solve global problems. His newest venture, Anew, sits within a similar market to Honest Coffee Co, endeavouring to remove the accepted norm that packaging needs to be bad, harmful or ugly. “Our Anew bottle fulfils the simple human need of drinking water while out and about. It is a simple, but well designed bottle that removes a lot of the downfalls of single use alternatives or energy intensive and heavy reusables,” says the founder. “Our mission is to revolutionise consumption through circularity. We believe that we should be able to use skin or hair care, eat honey, drink drinks and feed our pets (as a few examples of everyday things we consume) without finite resources being pulled from the earth to put these products into, without packaging that makes up more carbon footprint than the product, and without waste being left behind.” 

In addition to their own innovative products, Anew also collaborates with like-minded businesses to develop sustainable packaging solutions tailored to their brand identity. 

“It’s for businesses that care about the sustainability of their products, but do not know where to start when it comes to packaging. We make it easy,” says Klinac. 

“We have some really exciting packaging clients with innovative and forward thinking businesses in New Zealand and also with international companies which you will see rolling out over the next few months.” 

As a part of their goal to create a truly circular life-cycle for their products, Anew also offers a collection point system where products and packaging from the brand can be returned for reuse, or recycled into new products. While four smart collection sites are currently available in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Klinac is currently in the process of expanding this throughout Aotearoa. “It turns out that making custom collection bins in New Zealand is a little harder than we expected and have had some challenges with our manufacturing partner causing setbacks,” he says. “We are making the bins out of recycled Anew bottles and they have a barcode scanner on them to control what can and can’t go inside, they also have a cloud based system for us to track the data and organise the logistics of collections when bins get close to being full.” With development now back on track, there will soon be a greater number of smart collection points across the country available in convenient locations. 

For Klinac, who spends his time between the Anew office in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter and his home on Waiheke, every day can look a little different – though the founder always likes to begin his day with movement and meditation. “If I can’t get out in the ocean to surf or go foiling, I have found yoga and meditation a really useful tool for harnessing my mind and having it as a useful tool, rather than an obstacle,” he explains, “So I get up at 6:30am and practise yoga each morning if it is a work day. I will then get ready and head to the ferry and into the city. I use the ferry trip to meditate.” 

With so much in the works between expanding Anew’s number of collection sites and designing packaging for a growing number of clients, Klinac closed off his chat with FQ by giving us a glimpse at one of their newest collaborations. “We are also really excited about our recent partnership with Semi-permanent, the leading creative experience company. It’s been a dream to be involved with them and I have admired them for a long time,” he says. “We have to keep the rest under wraps, but I am sure you will see them pop up when they are released.”

Quickfire questions:

1. An album/artist/playlist I return to time and time again… Max Gunn.
2. I would describe my personal style as… Simple with clean lines and neutral colours.
3. The next destination on my travel list… Japan.
4. My most cherished item in my home is… Art we have collected.
5. My current quote or mantra to live by… I like this one from Ernest Hemingway on being
resilient and resourceful: “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”

Imagery: supplied.


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