While Joe Biden was being sworn in as President of the United States, Bernie Sanders was busy being sworn in as the President of our hearts. Bundled up in trusted beige Burton coat with a manilla envelope filled with some extra work to do — in case the whole thing ran long — tucked under his arm, Sanders sitting with arms and legs crossed in the background of the inauguration won the day and that's not even mentioning the mittens.
Not only did the large brown argyle patterned mittens look incredibly adorable and cozy, but it turned out that the backstory behind them was just as wholesome. The viral mittens were originally given to Sanders as a gift from school teacher in his home state of Vermont who makes them by repurposing old wool sweaters and lining them with fleece made out of recycled plastic bottles in her spare time.
After her mittens went viral, the school teacher, Jen Ellis, was naturally inundated with tons of people looking to buy their own memeable pair. Given that the sustainable mittens were just side hustle, Ellis didn't have any reasonable expectation that she would be able to meet the swell in demand.
However, looking to at least capitalize on the mittens' 15 minutes of fame for a good cause, Ellis has put up three new pairs for auction benefitting the dog rescue organization Paws 4 Paws Vermont, the queer youth organization Outright Vermont and her own daughter's college fund. So far the mittens have already collectively raised $12k for the three causes, and with a little less than 24 hours left in each respective auction that number is all but sure to rise.
And for those that can't afford to spend a couple thousand on mittens but still have their hearts set on keeping their fingers as toasty as Bernie's, Ellis has assured her Twitter followers that she's already working on more charitable collaborations focused on getting mittens to the masses. So stay tuned.