Benefits of Buying Locally
Do you know where your stuff comes from?
It’s okay if you answered no – because honestly, these days it’s hard to tell where anything we buy comes from. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the gadgets we spend way too much time on, all of it is made up of so many parts that come from all over the world. This is especially true if you’re buying from online retailers like Amazon or big box stores like Walmart or Costco. It’s undeniable, however, that many people want to move away from supporting faceless corporate entities, to have a real connection with the items they own and consume.
If you’ve made it to my blog and shop, I’m happy to say that you’re already on the right path! Maybe you’ve been having these thoughts already, and have been moving towards buying local more often, or maybe you’re completely new to the idea and are a little bit lost about where to begin. In this article, I’ll do my best to give you a starting point, and show you some things I’ve learned along the way!
WHERE TO START
Some of the best places to start looking for local goods are craft fairs and farmer's markets. You can find small and large vendors alike and a wide variety of products. While these events may be seasonal depending on where you live, chatting with local vendors is a great way to find out if any local shops carry their goods, or if they have an online store!
I've also found social media to be super helpful in finding local artisans that might otherwise have slipped my notice. In the age of e-commerce, getting ethical, hand made goods is easier than ever. Instagram and Etsy are great ways to connect with artisans and to browse their goods from the comfort of your own home.
One of the great things about shopping local is getting to connect with creators on a personal level. Don't be afraid to chat with your artisans about their products, how they source their materials, and what inspires them. Artists love to talk about their creations, and one of the great benefits of buying locally is the relationships you build both with the creator and the creations! If you're ever feeling lost, they're also the most likely to be able to point you to other artisans and shops, as well as other resources for buying local. As members of your community, they want to see it flourish just as much as you do!
HOW IT HELPS
Supporting Locals + Local Communities
Local businesses depend on their communities to thrive, and they are run by people just like you or me! Every time you buy local, you're supporting local families – sending kids to sports practice, contributing to the local economy and this, in turn, helps the whole community to grow and flourish.
Shopping local is a growing trend, bringing us back to humanity's communal roots. It allows us to support our neighbours, connect with new friends and build lasting relationships. It's not just about buying a unique piece for your wardrobe or your home but contributing to a greener, more ethical society. In its own special way, buying local is a great addition to a mindful lifestyle and a fun way to bring more mindfulness into your daily life!
Buying local is a green alternative to corporate practices! Nothing is being made in huge factories, shipped across the country on railways or highways, and the majority of local artisans utilize green, eco-friendly processes in the creation of their goods. They use less plastic and fossil fuels than commercially produced goods, too! You know when you buy locally that you're contributing to a healthier planet.
Supporting Fair Practices
As I said earlier, buying local is a great way to connect with local producers – whether they're artisans, or involved in agriculture. Locality equals transparency, especially in the age of corporate agriculture and production. By talking to local producers, you know that whether it's food for your table, clothing for your wardrobe, or décor for your home, the process is ethical and fair!
All in all, shopping local is a win for your home, your closet, your table and your community. Putting your money into your community ensures that it stays there – and the benefits extend to everyone around! Keep an eye out for craft fairs, farmer's market, and local boutiques selling locally made goods to add some mindfulness to your shopping routine.