KENNETT SQUARE >> Doug Harris has officially opened his newly rebranded store, State & Union, located appropriately, at State and Union streets in Kennett Square.
Eco Boutique, at 103 West State Street, has transformed into State & Union, which Harris calls “a United by Blue store within a store.” The store carries everything from apparel, grooming products, soap, canvas carrying bags and even accessories for pets.
“This is the first time in the United States that United by Blue has a store within a store that isn’t their own,” Harris said. “We’re still carrying Toms (footwear) and still carrying everything I used to, but now State & Union is about USA Heritage brands. I am now carrying Redwing boots made in America since 1905 and lots more.”
Starting with TOMS Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, and United by Blue, which removes a pound of garbage from the beach with every purchase, Harris said he realized he wanted to be a “shop with a conscience.”
“This is a concept that could roll out nationally by United by Blue,” Harris said. “Paul Bunyan is back for all those guys age 18 to 35. I am rewinding to the heritage of the past and fast-forwarding to the best of the future.”
Harris’ store works on a one-to-one basis for all of its sales. For every product sole, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways through company organized cleanups.
Mike Cangi, a Kennett High School graduate, played a huge role in helping to transform the interior of the store, said Harris, who called Cangi his “hero.”
Harris said the concept of “going green” is popular now, and his store aids the environment.
Harris said that the evolution of his store goes along with the evolution of Kennett Square, with its rebranding as one of the cool spots for hipsters and foodies alike.
United by Blue accomplishes its mission by continuously organizing and hosting ocean and waterway cleanups across the country, bringing together thousands of volunteers to help pick up things like plastic bottles, tires, cans, appliances and everything else that makes its way into the aquatic world. So far, United by Blue has hosted 100 cleanups and removed over 170,000 pounds of trash from rivers, streams, creeks and beaches across 21 U.S. states.