If you were at Splendour in the Grass this year, you might have seen people passing out free condoms in a pastel-pink wrapper, organised through PASH (Positive Adolescent Sexual Health), a Queensland sexual-health association.
The condoms came from a company called Jonny, a new Australian brand by three Melbourne women.
“Jonny was born out of a mutual feeling as three single women – at that time – that there was no condom brand on the market that spoke to us,” says Jonny co-founder Bec Villanti. “Condom packaging was always blue, black, fluoro.
“When we were buying them ourselves, we noticed there was not one packet on the supermarket shelves that we would want to purchase. All coming from creative backgrounds, we wanted a condom pack that … looks good on and off the shelf.”
Villanti, who runs an events-management company, is one of three friends behind the business. Her partners are Samantha Eades, an interior designer, and Bec Park, who was in advertising before marketing roles at luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer and designer kitchen and bathroom supplier Rogerseller.
In addition to creating a product with stylish, minimalist packaging, the trio wanted to ensure Jonny was as sustainable a product as possible throughout the manufacturing and packaging process.
“Some latex condoms use animal casein or milk derivatives in their processes for production,” Villanti says. “Jonny strictly does not. The condom itself is vegan and double-washed, therefore non-toxic.
“Unfortunately by law, condoms must be wrapped in foil, which sadly isn't degradable. However, our packaging is all PEFC-certified, our mailbags are 100 per cent recycled and recyclable and each condom comes paired with a co-branded biodegradable FabLittleBag that promotes mess-free, conscious disposal. You might be surprised how many people still flush condoms down the toilet.”
Jonny condoms and their biodegradable disposal bags come in a slim-line dusty-pink and jewel-green packet.
Mass-market condom brands such as Trojan have made efforts in recent years to attract women buyers, and a number of brands like Jonny, including L. and Hanx, have popped up with a focus on considered design and packaging.
Generally, though, the condom market is “steeped in old traditions” Villanti says, and are mostly “targeted at men in terms of packaging and advertising”.
The Jonny team worked with a focus group of women to inform the packaging before enlisting Holly Graham of Siy Studio to do design and branding.
“We went through a few different evolutions of colour to land at green and pink,” Villanti says. “It felt right as it spoke to women but didn't alienate men, because Jonny is for men, too.”
The Overnighter comes with three condoms and costs $4.95; the Weekender contains six and is $9.95; and the Lover’s Dozen has 13 and will set you back $11.95.
For every Jonny condom packet sold online, $1 goes to i=Change, an organisation that partners with brands to send funds to projects focused on women’s empowerment.