Cool Sustainable Finds at Kim and Jack Johnson’s Kōkua General Store

Once a pop-up shop, this beachy Hale‘iwa eco-boutique is now open full time and brimming with stylish, environmentally friendly goods.

 

This weekend, The Eddie’s massive waves drew throngs of surf fans to the North Shore, but as I hopped in my car for the 45-minute trek to sleepy Hale‘iwa Town, there was only one thing I was more stoked to see: Kim and Jack Johnson’s charming new eco-boutique, Kōkua General Store.

 

Eco Store Sustainable Products

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

I guess newish would be a better description, since technically the shop has been around in pop-up form for a few years, but last year it officially made the switch to full-on boutique, complete with a coastal aesthetic and breezy, laid-back vibe.

 

When you shop there, the effect is two-fold. Not only are you snagging great sustainable finds, you’re also supporting the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, the nonprofit the Johnsons founded back in 2003 dedicated to environmental education in Hawai‘i communities. The foundation receives 100% of the shop’s proceeds to help with that effort, which includes a handful of fantastic school programs focused on recycling, plastic-free living, growing food through school gardens, field trips and stewardship.

 

Jack Johnson Sustainable Garden

Photos of Kim and Jack Johnson: both Ryan Foley

 

Additionally, Kōkua General Store is the beginning of a bigger plan—it’s an entry point to 8 acres of land that the foundation purchased to serve as a hub for several of its future initiatives, including a Kōkua Learning Farm, an Āīna Farm Stand and a Kōkua Community Center.

 

Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

 


 

Kokua General Store: Image of glass jars of sustainable liquid soap for refills

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

The Refill Station

Refilleries have been gaining in popularity on O‘ahu and Kōkua General Store’s version offers a wide variety of products—from laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner to body wash, toner and toothpaste powder. You can bring your own refillable container or purchase a glass jar from the shop; everything is priced by weight. Seventy percent of the brands stocked are locally owned, such as AIM HI Everyday—snag its sea salt body scrub made with Hawaiian black lava salt—and North Shore Soap Factory’s ‘ōlena exfoliant, made in Waialua using turmeric from Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation’s own farm.

 


 

Kokua General Store: Shelves stocked with sustainable kitchen goods

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

Reusable Kitchen Finds

Switching to reusable storage containers is an easy way to cut down on plastic waste. The shop offers a several stylish options, including trendy Baggu lunch boxes and Stasher silicon snack bags, beeswax wraps from Hawai‘i label Bee’s Wrap and washable dish covers from Aloha de Casa printed with anthuriums, palm leaves and tiny surfers.

 


 

Kokua General Store chairs and vintage clothing hanging on racks

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

Vintage Alohawear

The kaleidoscope of bright, happy colors at the back left of Kōkua General Store is its second-hand and vintage clothing collection, culled from 15-plus Island consignors. It’s a fun mix that includes aloha shirts, traditional and contemporary mu‘umu‘u, and casual women’s alohawear. I especially loved the “beach vintage” styles from local curator Mai Tais and Rainbows—think floaty sundresses and blouses featuring old-school stripes and florals.

 


 

Jack Johnson's Kokua General Store; racks of vintage records

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

Vintage Vinyl from Hungry Ear Records

Flip through stacks of vintage records, donated by Hungry Ear Records, Jack’s favorite local spot for music. Each record is just $8 and comes pre-checked by the Hungry Ear team for quality.

 


 

Surf Memorabilia Hand-Picked by Mark Cunningham

Those who know bodysurfing no doubt know Mark Cunningham, the retired North Shore lifeguard and world champion bodysurfer who founded the O‘ahu Junior Lifeguard Program. Kōkua General Store is home to a selection of surf memorabilia picked out by the legendary waterman himself, including cool vintage surf tees and books.

 


 

Kokua General Store; image of sustainable pottery cups for sale

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

Eco Coffee Picks

Scoop up sweet handmade ceramic cups from Jac N’ Jil, handblown glass straws for chilled drinks, reusable coffee filters and jars of delicious honey from Hānai Hives, a local apiary dedicated to the conservation of honeybees.

 


 

Kokua General Store interior, shelves of cosmetics and sustainable soaps

Photo: Brie Thalmann

 

Sustainable Beauty Buys

The beauty industry is a huge contributor of waste to the planet so it’s refreshing to find local brands built around sustainability. Kōkua General Store stocks several, including Kapa Nui, a nontoxic nail polish line originally dreamt up for pregnant women by two nurses on the Big Island, and O‘ahu-based Indigo Elixirs, which makes perfume rollers, lip stains and cheek stains with compostable packaging. Want to skip the packaging completely? Snap up a few of Kealia Organics’ packaging-free shampoo and conditioner bars.

 


 

Open Wednesday to Thursday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday to Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., 66-249 Kamehameha Highway, Hale‘iwa, @kokuageneralstore, kokuahawaiifoundation.org, @kokuahawaiifoundation

 

 


SEE ALSO: 7 Eco-Warriors Weigh in on How to Live a Sustainable Life in Hawai‘i