When it comes to giving gifts, Re Gifts proprietors Ryan and Tina North have proven that it’s actually kind of easy—and pretty chic—being green.
Don’t let the store’s name mislead you: These wares aren’t someone else’s bad-gift rejects. They’re items people tossed or recycled that have been repurposed into something new, such as the ultramod pixel-pattern bags by Relan, made from old billboards.
The small shop, located in south Minneapolis (1832 E. 42nd St., Mpls., 612-276-0105), is absolutely packed with great items sure to please even the most discerning giftee—cheeky cards, earth-friendly bath-and-body products, hip jewelry, purses and bags, and small art pieces that make a big impression. Plus, the history of the product makes for a great story—as well as knowing something was saved, at least for one generation, from an overstuffed landfill.
The Norths buy into the same philosophy that they sell. They use earth-safe cleaning products in the store; the shop is designed with secondhand furniture; energy-saving light bulbs glow in the fixtures; and the store’s business cards are printed on recycled cereal and pop boxes. But it’s nowhere near granola—it’s more like a vintage designer-cashmere steal.
What you’ll find is that a lot of this stuff might once have been trash, but, through the eyes of artists and the crafty Norths, it has become treasure.