Driven by Generosity

MiiR

5. Gender Equality 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 13. Climate Action

Overview

MiiR's support projects fall under three categories: clean water, healthy environment, and strong communities. Since being founded in 2010 the company has participated in 71 giving projects in 26 different countries, donating over 1.5 million dollars. With this, MiiR has connected their own impact with that of organizations around the world.

Authors

Thy Tran

Thy Tran

Rebecca Zhou

Rebecca Zhou

Audrey Lauer

Audrey Lauer

Gracie Brown

Gracie Brown

School

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University

Professor

Randal Franz

Randal Franz

Innovation

The innovation of MiiR first emerged through the design of water bottles. With various sizes and designs, MiiR expanded from just water bottles to include tumblers, food containers, and growlers. They expanded their brand by including a coffee shop and launching custom drinkware for businesses who want personalized and sustainable branded merchandise. MiiR’s innovative business model is made of 4 simple steps: (1) design innovation; (2) sell MiiR products; (3) accumulate the give; and (4) identify projects to achieve a lasting impact.

MiiR allows for every customer to see their direct impact. Through registering the “give code” on the tag of every sold item you can follow your impact by seeing what project you donated to, how much MiiR has donated to that project overall, and the number of lives empowered. On their website, they also offer all the basic information for all the projects they have supported. This is the primary way they communicate their innovation Externally.

MiiR supports many of the Sustainable Goals ranging from “Gender Equality” to “Climate Control”. Because the company has invested in so many different projects they have been able to produce an impressive amount of impact. All 76 projects support one or more SDG which makes it a perfect nomination for Aim2Flourish. The three impact areas of MiiR beautifully represent the United Nations Mission because they exist to better the globe in tangible ways by collaborating across businesses and cultures alike.

Through the projects that MiiR partners with, they invest in not just their impact but in what organizations are trying to create all around the world. The MiiR brand has become about a lot more than just the company, but an entire community that believes in human flourishing through sustainability and empowerment. While MiiR started with one individual who wanted to make a difference, it turned to a company that has leveraged its opportunity to create a positive sustainable impact in every aspect of its business.

Driven by Generosity

Inspiration

Bryan Papé, the founder of MiiR, decided to launch this company because he had an epiphany that to be successful in business, one must add value to the life of whoever is buying the product or service. This idea went beyond simply offering value to someone as a customer, but to that person as a fellow human. Pape toed the line of death in a skiing accident, and, after this moment, he realized that he didn’t want to pass without having given back. This began his journey to lead a life of generosity.

He was also inspired by the example that he saw in his grandfather, who was beloved because he gave back to his community. Therefore, when Bryan was given a rather traumatizing wake-up call, he decided to make significant life changes that ultimately set him up to become a community-focused entrepreneur. His original mission was to "bring clean water to the massive portion of humanity that doesn’t possess this basic necessity."

Overall impact

In 2019, MiiR provided a $50,000 grant to Yellowstone Forever to fund conservation and sustainability projects within the park, including its Native Fish Conservation program and Environmental Stewardship Initiative, both helping ensure that the ecological, recreational and historical value of the park is preserved for generations to come (MiiR.com). Also, MiiR’s unrestricted grant of $10,000 funded the operations of Women’s Wilderness programs like Trailblazers, a three-month outdoor immersion program that grew out of a desire to increase the presence of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), women or non-binary folks who identify with a women’s community, in the outdoors while also providing training to support positive, safe and successful hiking, backpacking and camping experiences in outdoor environments (MiiR.com).

More importantly, MiiR’s $40,000 grant to Kula is funding the operations of their Liddy Women’s Center for 2019-2020, where 50 girls have the opportunity to complete the Kula Business Fellowship (MiiR.com). The girls, ages 16-22, are learning new skills such as tailoring, weaving, and agri-business. Personal development training in female health & hygiene, family planning, and nutrition ensures that their new businesses are run by the healthiest leaders. But importantly, they will gain all the tools they need to lead a life that reflects the decisions they make, and not the ones generational poverty tries to make for them.

According to the statistics on MiiR’s website, “ In October 2019, MiiR reached an incredible milestone: “$1,000,000 in giving to our nonprofit partners, empowering 115,000 people. This marker of generosity was made possible by an entire ecosystem of support. Every consumer and business who chose MiiR contributed to its success and helped redefine what it means to be a for-profit company.” (MiiR.com)

Business benefit

Thanks to the transparent and generous process of MiiR, the B corporation’s business result has significantly grown since 2010. On every MiiR bottle bought, there is a tag where customers can find a Give Code to register and track the fund donated from the profit of the products to the giving projects. This authentic and innovative business strategy has made MiiR’s customers be more satisfied which results in an increase in the brand’s revenue by 60% in 2018. According to CEO Bryan Papé, by 2020, MiiR crossed $1.6 million in grantmaking, and they are looking for 1 million dollars in 2021 alone. There have been 45,489 giving members with 71 giving projects in 26 countries.

MiiR now employs 60 people globally. The company has 3 offices worldwide (in Seattle, Washington, Jinhua, China, and Boise, Idaho, along with one flagship store in Seattle).

Social and environmental benefit

According to the founder of MiiR, Bryan Pape, the brand is inspired by the word “Mir”, which can be translated as “world,” “good,” and “peace” in Russian and other languages. It is why MiiR’s purpose is to support society and empower its people for a better future. One of the most popular and recent projects of MiiR is Project #71 partnered with Black Girl Ventures in New York City and Washington D.C. This project’s mission is not only to achieve gender equality but also to fight the systemic racism happening to Black and colored people. MiiR has contributed $40 thousand for the project and empowered 15 women of color. During Black Friday in 2020, MiiR committed to donating 100% of its sales benefit to the non-profit organization, Black Girl Ventures.

Thanks to all the giving members, MiiR has the opportunity to dedicate itself to building a better community all over the world by providing industry training in developing countries, helping young people get hands-on experience and gain leadership skills, and mobilizing students for academic improvement. Although MiiR’s flagship store was also economically affected and had to close a few months in 2020 due to COVID-19, the sustainable brand still managed to take care of its employees and put its people first by promoting and supporting other local businesses and restaurants on MiiR’s social media pages and donating their sales profits to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund campaign.

MiiR has also partnered with multiple organizations to make impacts on the environment in different cities and countries. Their long-term and vital goal is to fund sustainable projects in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. By being a 1% for the Planet organization, “MiiR commits to contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to support environmental causes.” By 2021, MiiR has funded 43 projects in the Clean Water impact area and 2 projects in the Healthy Environment area in Liberia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Boise... This life-changing impact has helped significantly improve people’s life. They now have access to clean water, proper sanitation, and healthy soil.

Interview

Bryan Pape, Founder and CEO

Keep this story going! Share below!

MiiR

MiiR

Seattle, Washington, US

Business Website: https://www.miir.com

Year Founded: 2010

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

MiiR is a business that sells premium drink-ware with the intention of designing forward and giving generously. Their three main impact areas include creating clean water, a healthy environment, and strong communities.