280 900 S.
Tu–Sat: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. | Sun: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
801.521.4425 | animaliaslc.com
For many, the holiday season emboldens the giver in us—we spend countless hours finding just the right way to show our loved ones our appreciation. Sometimes it’s a thoughtful gesture or affectionate message, but most often, our generosity is manifested through some sort of physical offering. The tradition of gift giving is an enduring feature of America’s consumer culture, and is also the cause of an enormous amount of waste. As the environmental crisis grows more and more dire, so does the need for sustainable products and substitutes for one-use items. One shop looking to introduce a solution is Animalia.
Run by Abbey Muse, Animalia is a locally owned business aiming to offer Salt Lake consumers with human-made goods created with passion, kindness and ingenuity. Regarding its inception, Muse says her main inspiration for Animalia was the people who make their dreams a reality while simultaneously caring about the planet. “I’m obsessed with people being true to themselves,” she says. “I want to be surrounded by the amazingness that being a human is. People inspired me to open Animalia.”
“Consumption doesn’t have to be shitty—it can be very empowering!”
Muse’s passion for people is reflected by Animalia’s expansive range of products, all of which are stocked from small, independent brands. Currently, the shop collaborates with about 40 brands, including Yellow Yarrow Apothecary, Khala Cloths, Happy Hour Ceramics, Queen of Cups, Coffee Sock, Incausa, Desert Rose and Thrill of a Thrift, the last of which stocks a rack of their wonderfully curated vintage clothing. Each company provides Animalia with its own unique offering, from handmade jewelry to skincare and greeting cards, ceramics to makeup and CBD products. Animalia also offers a multitude of single-use alternatives, including reusable coffee filters, glass straws, wax wraps, bulk bags and menstrual products. Every item in the shop is lovingly curated by Muse, and each works to supply Salt Lake residents with the means to live a less-disposable life.
Animalia also features a unique bulk bar where people can bring their own containers to refill household goods without the waste of purchasing single-use plastic items. Items like toothpaste and even insect repellent are weighted and sold by the ounce. Everything in the bulk bar is mindfully made by various eco-certified brands, and many are cheaper to refill than their store-bought counterparts.
While Animalia provides the community with an opportunity to live more sustainably, the shop also works with Momentum Recycling and Wasatch Resource Recovery to implement a food waste collection service. Food waste—a huge source of toxic methane gas and a byproduct that Americans discard nearly 40 million tons of every year—can be brought directly to the shop where it’s converted into biogas and biofertilizer via anaerobic digesters. The natural gas created is used by Dominion Energy to help supply over 15,000 local homes with energy.
“I want to be surrounded by the amazingness that being a human is. People inspired me to open Animalia.”
Animalia’s food waste program is just one more way that Muse is making clean living more reachable. “People have told me how hyped they are to be sending less food to landfill to sit and release methane. People want to live a lighter footprint life, of sorts, we just need to make that more accessible,” she says. To participate in the program, bring your collected food waste to Animalia’s back parking lot, where you can dump in the appropriate green bins. To cover the cost of the service, Animalia charges $.60 per gallon dropped off.
As sustainability becomes increasingly vital to our world’s future, Muse says she recognizes a push for a more environmentally centered community in Salt Lake. “We’re adapting to the times (better late than never)!,” she says. “Like most things, greater awareness of current issues leads to change, whether that’s policy change, lifestyle and behavior change, infrastructure change, etc.” In terms of the individual, small actions add up, and Muse offers a few simple changes people can make in their lives to be kinder to our planet: “Take advantage of local farmer’s markets, support small brands, shops, markets, buy package-free, spend more time outside! When we spend time in nature, we feel less of a pull to be shitty to her,” she says.
“Like most things, greater awareness of current issues leads to change, whether that’s policy change, lifestyle and behavior change, infrastructure change, etc.”
As the world endures the pandemic, Muse finds comfort in providing the community with a healthier, kinder lifestyle. The shop offers curbside pick-up orders, online shopping, local delivery and country-wide shipping as well as masked, in-store shopping. As the holiday season rolls around, Animalia is excited to offer their annual Shop Small Saturday, where the entire shop will be 20% off (although things will look a bit different this year—follow the shop for more updates). Animalia also offers shoppers a free gift-wrap station using repurposed, found and reused wrapping supplies! So as you rack your brain for the right way to celebrate others this month, keep Muse’s wise words in mind: “Consumption doesn’t have to be shitty—it can be very empowering!”
Shop Animalia’s many offerings at animaliaslc.com, and keep up with the shop by following their Instagram: @animaliashopslc. If you’d like to see your small brand featured in Animalia, reach out to Muse at [email protected].