Less is more, or so they say, but this little saying has become somewhat of a mantra for me over the past couple of months as we’ve made a goal of simplifying our lifestyle and creating better habits when it comes to consumerism. One aspect of that was downsizing (we went from a 2200 sq ft house to a 1200 sq ft loft), but the other side of it has been learning to live with less and being much more intentional about the products we are purchasing.
Conscious consumerism is nothing new, but it is something that I see gaining momentum, which is why I was so thrilled to see a shopping mecca like The Mall of America lead the way on an amazing initiative called Shop for Kindness. I don’t know about you, but The Mall of America (as Minnesotan’s we affectionately call it MOA) has been part of my entire life. It opened in 1992 and is about a 2.5 hour drive from the town I grew up in. Each fall we’d make our pilgrimage to the mall to do our back to school shopping, and in the summer (if we were lucky) we’d make a trip to Camp Snoopy (the on-site amusement park in the center of the mall, now called Nickelodeon Universe).
Debut is a new space at The Mall of America that can be thought of as a mini pop-up. They fill the space with a curated collection of brands on a rotating basis. The new collection just opened up a couple weeks ago and I was honored to attend the grand opening! This one is called Shop for Kindness and it includes a curated collection of amazing brands (full list at bottom), each of which benefit a dedicated cause or initiative. The event, of course, was a blast, but it was so fun to know that everything being sold was also making a positive impact! I loved learning more about each of the brands, hearing their stories, and learning what type of initiative my purchase would support.
I’m really excited to introduce you to a couple of the brands that I discovered at Shop for Kindness and tell you more about their initiatives. The first one is Roma Boots, a company making absolutely adorable rain boots in assorted styles. Their mission is to “give poverty the boot” by providing impoverished children with aid and education. For every pair of boots sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need PLUS 10% of all proceeds help fund educational initiatives around the world. I’ve never owned a pair of rain boots, but was so happy to have these Roma Boots during our recent trip to Duluth (during which it rained a fair amount). I love the Chelsea, a classic, low, matte-black pair that I picked up at Shop for Kindness — they are super comfortable, really functional, and the price point (around $60) is so reasonable when you think of all the good one pair of boots is doing! I know that these boots will be a staple in my closet for many years to come. Purchase your own pair via their website and follow @RomaBoots on Instagram.
The next brand I discovered at Shop for Kindness and instantly fell in love with was Woodchuck. Not only are their products made in the USA and made using sustainably sourced wood, but Woodchuck plants one tree for every single product that they sell! How amazing is that? Their website has an updating ticker that says they’ve planted 342,962 trees to date and it feels good knowing that I got one of those babies in the ground! Along with an amazing initiative, their products are absolutely gorgeous. I loved the “A Life Well Lived” journal, and knew it would make a perfect host’s gift during our weekend up north. This journal was my favorite design and was actually a collaboration with another amazing brand, Northern Glasses (more about them, below)! But, it was hard to leave without their World Map Coasters or a wooden skin for my Mac! View their products on their website and follow @WoodchuckUSA on Instagram.
Last but certainly not least was Northern Glasses, whose initiative hits especially close to my heart (you know I love hydration!). With every purchase you help make clean water accessible throughout the world. When you get a glass, you help send a gallon of water to people who need it. Water is life, friends, and I can absolutely get behind this brand and their mission. Plus, the glasses are just adorable. We picked out a 4-pack and clearly we went with kind of a woodsy/adventurous theme. They were perfect for sipping a Minnesota-brewed beer while we sat around the campfire during our recent trip! Check out all their designs on their website and follow @NorthernGlasses on Instagram.
I hope that if you find yourself en route to The Mall of America anytime soon, that you’ll plan to stop in and see the amazing brands currently featured at Shop for Kindness. These brands make amazing gifts for graduates, weddings and father’s day! You’ll find Shop for Kindness on the first floor near Zara. These brands will be available there through September 10th, 2017. Here is a full list of the brands available along with their giving initiative.
- Woodchuck USA – Plants trees and supports sustainability.
- Twill Blankets – sends a duplicate of purchased items to charitable organizations across the U.S.
- Roma Boots – donates boots to children and funds world education initiatives.
- Still Kickin’ – helps support survivors of all kinds.
- Smile Network – supports women artisans and funds reconstructive surgeries in developing nations.
- PAB’s Packs – donates care packages and backpacks to kids with chronic illnesses.
- House of Talents – supports low-income artisans in West Africa communities.
- Wear’s Woody – donates proceeds to diabetes nonprofits.
- MY SISTER – works to combat sex trafficking.
- Love Your Melon – supports childhood cancer research.
- Northern Glasses – in support of projects to solve water crises worldwide.
- Humble Apparel – supports the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
- Yoobi – sends classroom packs to schools.
- Through Jimmy’s Eyes – supports the U of M Cancer Center.