2017 Sustainable + Local MN Gift Guide

By Amber Newman

Our hearts are happy to know there are so many shops doing great things in the Twin Cities. This holiday season, we want to lift up a few of our favorite makers and companies who share our values: 

Sustainability   |   Art   |   Ethics   |   Beauty   |   Community 


Makwa Studio

Makwa means “bear” in Ojibwe. The textile artist and designer behind Makwa is Maggie Thompson, whose work “[explores] ideas of Native authenticity and what it means to be a contemporary woman.” Though you can find her artwork on exhibit around the Cities, you can also purchase knit and woven wearables for yourself and as gifts. The cozy winterwear comes in creative storytelling patterns as well as attractive solids—check out the selection in her online store. She uses luxury yarns and sources from a U.S. mill.

Backbone Cowl | Photo Courtesy of Makwa Studio

Backbone – she created this design to represent the “importance of maintaining a strong identity and cultural backbone.” You can purchase a beanie, cowl (shown) or fringed hoodie scarf in this pattern. 

Makwa Studio Solid Print Beanies
Solid Print Beanies | Photo Courtesy of Makwa Studio 

You can also find Makwa products at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, at Cliché on Lyndale Ave., and at the Uptown and Northeast Spot Spa Boutiques. To see and read more about Maggie’s projects, visit her website. 


Fair Anita

Fair Anita sells the most darling jewelry, accessories and clothes, but the story behind them may bring you to tears. The name and vision come from a woman in Peru—Ana, a social worker dedicated to empowering women in her city where most people live in extreme poverty, and all too many suffer from domestic violence. Fair Anita is built on the premise of investing in women, selling artisan goods from 16 countries, paying the makers at least 3x minimum wage. Read more about the store’s process, values and people here. 

Fair Anita Hidden Treasure Earrings
Hidden Treasure Earrings | Photo Courtesy of Fair Anita
Waterfall Beaded Necklace | Photo Courtesy of Fair Anita 

The Hidden Treasure Earrings and Waterfall Beaded Necklace are from the India Collection. Check out the other collections-- there's even an Under $20 section with a surprising array of lovely choices. You can purchase goods online, at one of their many pop-up sales, or in these local stores.


Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply

This Selby Avenue shop is family-owned and filled with the dreams of the modern homesteader.  Gift the nature lover in your life a cute pollinator house. For the foodie, pick up a mushroom log or a gin and bitters kit.  The store also carries items for canning, preserving and fermenting, tapping maples trees for syrup, and everything garden related. 

Pollinator Houses | Photo Courtesy of Leslie Johnson 
Cheese Kits available at Egg Plant Urban Farm Supply
 DIY Cheese Kits | Photo Courtesy of Leslie Johnson 
Mushrooom Logs | Photo Courtesy of Leslie Johnson 

They also offer very affordable classes year-round. In January you can learn how to grow salad indoors, make kombucha and cheddar cheese, and get an intro to raising your own chickens. Read about owners Audrey and Bob and manager Leslie  and their values as a small business dedicated to community


Hippy Feet Socks 

Socks are a little piece of our wardrobe and often don’t get a lot of attention. However, they can make a big difference. Hippy Feet is a local business that gifts one pair of socks to the homeless every time one is purchased, and they’ve donated 7,000 pairs so far! Hippy feet offers training in order for folks to transition out of homelessness. The socks are sustainably made in the U.S. with mostly recycled cotton and recycled polyester. Socks can do a lot more than we give them credit for! Read more about the owner and the company’s values.  

Rainbow Socks | Photo Courtesy of Sam Harper

They have Rainbow socks and socks for MN Wild Hockey fans; they have solid, stripy and star-spangled socks. Choose from ankle, crew, tube and knee-high socks in many designs—all while doing good in the world.

MN Wild Socks | Photo Courtesy of Sam Harper 

True Ethic 

Located in the art district of Northeast Minneapolis, True Ethic is a store that stocks items from brands committed to more than profit: brands that work against sex trafficking, to provide education, provide clean water, and fight poverty through empowering artisans.

Great gift options include this journal painted by a young artist from Kosovo and a portion of the proceeds go toward a women’s college fund there. The Joy Quilt is a fair-trade product made by a woman in India with vintage cotton saris and the traditional kantha stitch. It even has the name of the maker embroidered in the corner.

Flora Journal | Photo Courtesy of True Ethic 
Joy Quilt | Photo Courtesy of True Ethic

The Batik Indigo Pompom Pillow is a cheerful addition to anyone’s home; it’s made by hand in Thailand. BAM Essential Oils Roller Blend includes organic, soothing oils for when we want to sleep, focus, relieve headaches, relax and energize. It’s made in MN by a local organization that works with at-risk youth. 

Pom Pom Pillow | Photo Courtesy of True Ethic 

Essential Oil Blend | Photo Courtesy of True Ethic 


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