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SHOP: Sustainable Swedish Brand Mini Rodini

Founded by Cassandra Rhodin, Mini Rodini is an eco-friendly clothing line for children and adults. Rhodin is a Swedish-based illustrator and photographer who also pulls together the Mini Rodini lookbook while traveling the globe from Zimbabwe to the Arizona desert.

Cassadra at Akashinga camp in Zimbabwe

The designer is also on an eco-mission to redefine the ways in which clothing brands operate through incorporating cultural diversity, sustainable production, recycled materials, GOTS-certified organic cottons, living wages and more. Each season, Mini Rodini selects a special charity or foundation to align with and most recently has worked with The Vulture Sanctuary in KenyaSea Shepherd and Virunga National Park.

Kenya shoot for Mini Rodini

Mini Rodini also makes the Mini Me collection in both adult and kid sizes in select pieces. This came about when Rhodin thought her kids looked so cool that she decided to design a matching outfit for herself. Apparently, this has caught on, celebrity fans include Chloe Sevigny, Emily Ratajkowski, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, Liv Tyler, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, and Katy Perry among others. 

Mini-Rodini campaign in Kenya

We decided to find out where Rhodin finds inspiration for her line and where she’s headed this summer. 

What inspired you to start Mini Rodini?

I founded Mini Rodini in 2006 when I was expecting my second son. Kids’ clothes were so boring and overly produced in conventional ways back then. 

I thought to myself, ‘There is no way I’m going to dress my kid in that!’ and so I’d been contemplating the idea of starting a kid’s line. At that time, I didn’t really have a name in mind for the brand but one day I was browsing through an antique shop in the Old Town of Stockholm and found a vintage photo of my great, great grandfather who was a famous circus King known as Brazil Jack (the circus is still in the family). He was such an important part of my childhood and I loved to hear all the crazy stories about him. So, of course. I bought the picture, and when I got home. I took it out of the frame, and on the back of the picture he had written the name ‘Rodini’ – the name he used when traveling and performing in the late 1890s. As soon as I saw that I realized I’d found the right name for the brand. 

Cassandra in Kenya at Vulture Sanctuary
What are some of your favorite shopping cities in the world for inspiration and why?

I really love antique markets and both Shanghai and New Delhi have great ones. It’s a total thrill for me finding unique objects and artifacts. I’ve brought back spices, tea and lots of incense from my last trip to New Delhi, and at the Shanghai Antique Market I found some exquisite porcelain objects and gave them to friends and family as gifts. New York and London are, of course, always so much fun as well, especially if you’re after vintage clothing. On my latest trip to Kenya, I found a beautiful hand-carved wooden hippopotamus and flew back to Sweden with it in my carry-on as a special souvenir for my daughter.

Mini Rodini founder Cassandra Rhodin in Zimbabwe. Arizona road trip for “Going Wild in the West” campaign.
Please give us an example of a perfect shopping day in the city where you live.

I rarely have time to go shopping these days in Stockholm but if I do, I usually pass by vintage and antique stores and some local brands like Acne and Svenskt Tenn, a classic Swedish design store known for their iconic prints created by Josef Frank.

Do you have a ‘go-to’ for travel gear or accessories before a big trip?

I absolutely won’t leave home without my wide-frame sunglasses and my X-T3 Digital Fuji camera. I always photograph the Mini Rodini campaigns with this camera, and for the latest collection, I used it to create the ‘Going Wild in the West’ campaign in Arizona as the collection was inspired by my love for American road trip theme movies from the 80s and 90s.  

Cassandra relaxing at home in Sweden. On Faroe Island with daughter Florence.
What are you reading this summer?

I just started Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah. He won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature and it’s the story of a 12-year-old boy in East Africa given away by his father to settle a debt.

What podcasts/music are you listening to?

I try to listen to new music but I must admit I always end up listening again and again to my favorites like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Prince and Bob Dylan. I really enjoy listening to Nick Cave as well. I’m going to see him perform at a festival in Sweden in August and I can’t wait. 

Where are you headed on vacation? 

I’m headed to the Swiss Alps in July with my daughter Florence for some hiking with friends, and for the rest of the summer, our entire family will spend it at Fårö island, also known as ‘Ingmar Bergman’s Island’ where he spent most of his life. I’ve been going there since my childhood days and it’s such a special place.

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