Lanna Nawa and Saroj Bhandari reacted to the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal by raising more than $10,000 through various fundraisers with assistance from some of their college friends. They used the money to build their own school in Ramche, Nepal. To keep the school funded, they set up pop-up shops at various locations, selling backpacks that would help fund eight hours of education from each one sold. They met other citizens looking to aid other causes close to their heart. Nawa and Bhandari made the decision to open their own store where each purchase would directly benefit a cause. In 2017, Impact Everything opened their first storefront in PVD.
Impact Everything partners with manufacturers only after a lengthy interview and inspection process. Companies must meet seven criteria before Impact Everything will do business with them.
I = Individual Responsibility: recognizing that change starts at the individual level and helping to educate others on how to do so
M = Manufacturing: making a product that gives back to people and/or the planet (eg, metal straw)
P = People: hiring marginalized groups of people (eg, survivors of sex trafficking, the homeless)
A = Acts of Kindness: proving measurable impact from a product’s sale (eg, the planting of 10 trees)
C = Charitable Proceeds: donating 25% of proceeds from a product’s sale to a reputable non-profit
T = Travel with Purpose: taking customers abroad to volunteer with the cause they are affecting
In addition to the storefront, Impact Everything has an online store that gives customers the option of “shopping for a cause,” with 14 causes to choose from. Each cause has its own products for shoppers to browse and purchase. All online sales are shipped directly from the store, and they can be shipped worldwide.
Impact Travel is, what Nawa calls, their “in-house” non-profit, handling most of their international causes. This gives their team the opportunity to form connections with people of other cultures. Their current focus is educational work in Nepal and Uganda. Having already built a school in Nepal, they aim to have one built in Uganda over the next 10 years.
“It’s great to see the movement growing beyond borders,” Nawa says.
Impact Everything donates to local, national and international charities. They employ adults with autism to help make hand-crafted goods, and they have partnered with Hands of Hope, donating headbands to cancer patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. They also host events at the store each weekend, using the time to educate the community on the causes they support. They plan to host out-of-store events as well; they just completed two clean-ups at India Point Park.
“Some of my favorite moments are when young children get involved in shaping their dreams into reality,” Nawa says. “We love hosting school field trips and spreading knowledge about social entrepreneurship.”
Impact Everything hopes that their growth will bring awareness and money to the causes they support. They have a large chalkboard behind the cashier that tracks the amount of “total impacts” made by customers. Their goal is to hit 150,000 impacts within the next five years.
“I hope people feel inspired to make an impact in their communities,” Nawa says of their ultimate pay-it-forward goal.
Impact Everything is located at 297 Thayer St, Second Floor, PVD. Store hours are Mon – Sat, 11am – 7pm and Sun, 12 – 6pm. Call 860-608-6222 for more information, or check them out online at impacteverything.org, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.