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Hippie Haven cares about customers, environment
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Hippie Haven cares about customers, environment

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Hippie Haven aims to empower customers to live well while caring for the oceans and earth.

The new store at 806 St. Joseph St. officially opened Dec. 1. It sells all-natural, eco-friendly, ethically produced skin care, personal care, kitchen and laundry products, and home goods. Hippie Haven is the retail arm of Bestowed Essentials, a wholesale manufacturing company launched in Rapid City in 2018.

Customers can shop at Hippie Haven or pick up items there they ordered through bestowedessentials.com/. A new website, hippiehavenshop.com, will launch soon. Hippie Haven’s business hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Bestowed Essentials and Hippie Haven are part of owner Callee Ackland’s mission to help others live environmentally low-impact lives. She describes Hippie Haven as South Dakota’s first zero-waste store.

“A less common term for zero waste is low-impact living. It’s being mindful of the choices you’re making, what you’re buying or what you’re choosing not to buy, as well as daily lifestyle habits,” Ackland said.

“Use what you’ve already got. Reuse anything you can. Try to find an item second-hand or borrow it. When you buy new, opt for the most eco-friendly option you can find.Try to make the best choice with what’s available on the market,” she said.

Hippie Haven will carry products from Bestowed Essentials and other carefully vetted sources that meet Ackland’s requirements for being eco-conscious. Even packaging must be compostable or recyclable. When possible, Ackland eliminates product packaging or encourages customers to use their own refillable containers.

Starting in January, Hippie Haven will introduce DIY classes focused on making household and personal care items from materials available in the store.

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Ackland predominantly buys from female vendors and suppliers because she’s passionate about empowering women.

“We should be supporting small businesses regularly and especially female-owned businesses,” Ackland said. “I’ve been so inspired throughout my life by so many strong women who take what life throws at them and turn lemons into lemonade. … I have been supported by so many amazing women and I love to turn that around and try to support other women. We are more powerful when we work together.”

Ackland’s businesses have evolved from a soap-making hobby she began in 2016 while stationed in Georgia with the U.S. Navy. She was making and giving soap to friends and family, then opened an Etsy store and sold soap at a local farmer’s market. The beauty of the Black Hills and South Dakota’s tax benefits for businesses enticed Ackland to establish her business in Rapid City. Bestowed Essentials products are currently sold at 150 retailers nationwide and recently expanded into Canada, Ackland said. She also speaks, consults, travels and hosts the Hippie Haven podcast.

From the beginning, Ackland’s products were organic, vegan, cruelty-free and encased in eco-friendly packaging. Then she saw a documentary, “A Plastic Ocean,” that inspired her to do more. The documentary examined pollution and microplastics in the ocean and how that, in turn, affects humans.

“I was struck by how big of a problem it was,” Ackland said. More research into pollution and microplastics prompted her to sell all-natural household goods, such as toothbrushes, bandages, shower mitts and even toilet brushes.

“When you’re using something made out of plastic, especially bristles or fibers, every time you use it some of that breaks off and those are entering our waterways and oceans. The average American is consuming one credit-card size amount of microplastics every week. It’s in the water, the soil, in the fish you’re eating,” Ackland said.

Ackland partnered with the Ocean Blue Project to remove and properly dispose of one pound of trash from American beaches for every order placed on Bestowed Essentials’ website. As of October, that partnership removed 1,208 pounds of trash this year, she said.

Hippie Haven also will offer Terracycle in its store. People can drop off items that can’t be recycled locally — razors and razor blades, beauty product packaging, oral care waste, contact lenses and packaging, Styrofoam and plastic straws. Hippie Haven pays the cost to ship the items to Terracycle for recycling.

Ackland offers more ideas for eco-friendly living at hippiehavenpodcast.com, and the Hippie Haven store will have a lending library where people can educate themselves about veganism, sustainable living, mindfulness and meditation. One of the best low-impact choices people can make is to eat foods grown locally and in season, she said. Turning off unneeded lights, using less water, walking or carpooling to work, choosing vegan products and other day-to-day habits are ways to live in an eco-friendly manner.

“The real meaning of zero waste is trying to do the best you can as often as you can in the society we live in,” Ackland said. “All the little things add up.”

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