Buying local isn't simply an age-old tradition, a tale of time gone by; It's a modern reality.
For many, lockdown made us realise the value in supporting those who surrounded us. Of uplifting friends, community members and neighbours. Of knowing the name of your tailor, baker, candlestick maker.
We began to vote with our money and support those whose faces we could see, rather than the invisible powers behind big, high-street corporations. It was a return to the ways of our grandparents and those who came before them, in a beautiful display of civic pride and community values.
By purchasing from local businesses, rather than international companies, you know that your money remains in your local community. Every penny you spend is a penny in a neighbour’s pocket. It’s food on their table, a dance lesson for their child. And as an independent, they’re more likely to buy from local businesses themselves, understanding the challenges that they face, first hand.
And as your local business grows, they’ll begin to hire local people, help them grown and thrive in employment and maybe even go on to develop their own independent, local venture.
Because supporting local has a domino effect of positivity for all of those within your community.
Environmental benefits are often one of the last things we think of when we’re buying something. But when you purchase from an overseas company, your item doesn’t simply teleport onto your doorstep. It is driven, flown, and driven again. All with fuel that is harmful to the wider environment.
Similar benefits come from hiring local people and buying from local suppliers, both of which result in fewer miles travelled, and in turn, less environmental damage.
And offering a collection of local businesses, as markets often do, makes it easier for those wishing to support local. Who are able to walk to their nearby market, support local, avoid postage fees and do good.
By prioritising local businesses, you don't have to ban yourself from ever shopping at big names again. Instead, you'll hopefully see the value in that extra money spent at an independent company, becoming a more conscious shopper instead of the mindless consumer that many brands dream of.
"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." (Shuman, Going Local)