By: Emily Van Dyk for Pomp and Sass
You know that buying consciously is important when we think about our environmental and ethical practices, but have you thought about how shopping local is a part of the equation?
From lower pollution rates to better customer service, local businesses are the beacons of our local communities. So let’s talk about why shopping local means more than you may think.
1. Unique businesses = character
Local businesses shape a community while also defining the community. This can bring on a different way of living that isn’t always pushed by larger businesses. Small businesses value the character of the community they’re a part of, as they know you do.
2. Customer service is always better
Small, local businesses value your choice to shop with them. They will help you to the ends of the earth and their communications will always feel human, really human. Local businesses usually hire people with product knowledge, or provide in depth training, so they can help you in the best way they can. These businesses won’t blow you off like the big box stores we know too well.
3. Environmental impact is lower
Smaller businesses and shops are providing centralized services and/or products meaning they aren’t contributing to sprawl, pollution or habitat loss. Much better than out of town shopping! A lot of local companies have taken action to become more sustainable businesses, a great example is the compostable packaging we’ve been seeing so much of lately. Supporting sustainable businesses can make a huge difference in helping to normalize expectations for brands small and large to lower their carbon footprints as much as they can.
4. Local businesses invest in their local community
Since the owner’s of small businesses live in the community, they are much more invested in its future and wellness. Small businesses often donate to local charities and partake in local markets, they really go above and beyond to be an important part of the community they reside in.
5. Local businesses provide the most new jobs
This may come as a surprise, but most small local businesses are the largest national employers. Not to mention that the more jobs that you have in your community, the less people are going to head elsewhere – saving on traffic and pollution. Supporting conscious brands means you can invest in products made by people who are earning a living wage, locally.
6. Your values and opinion matters
You may not feel heard by large department stores, but small businesses are highly influenced by your interests and values. These local businesses are there to serve the locals, and so what better way to do that than by listening intently?
7. Vote with your wallet
Sounds obvious, sure. But it’s more important than ever in covid times. With more people ordering off of Amazon and other online retailers, local businesses are taking a hit. So next time you need a new towel, bar of soap or shampoo, search in your area first. These local shops are doing everything they can to provide great service, even in uncertain times. By shopping local, you are showing that local business matters.
To drive home the point, you can feel good about shopping local. You’re keeping your money within the community instead of sending it elsewhere, or to another country altogether, while also supporting a small business owners dreams of being a positive influence in their community. Local matters, because YOU matter. It’s scary to think of what our small downtown cores would look like without our highly valued local businesses, isn’t it? Lower your carbon footprint, support your community, and know you’ll be well taken care of through extraordinarily human customer service. Explore your local options before opting for box stores, whether online or brick and mortar you’re guaranteed to find some gems!
Our shopping choices speak volumes. When we opt for options that are damaging to our environment, or unethically made, we’re showing these practices don’t bother us – when they do. We’re not saying toss everything that wasn’t ethically made and replace it with eco/ethical products, but when looking for replacements for your items try and see what your options are! These sorts of choices influence not only our local communities but global business.
“Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”
– Michael H. Shuman (Author of “Going Local”)
Written by Emily Van Dyk
Pomp & Sass woven towels are eco-friendly, ethically made and are locally designed in Oakville, Ontario. Visit pompandsass.ca and get yours today!