Shop local, shop small
Does it matter if we shop local?
This past year, we've all heard the phrase "shop local" so many times we probably don't even stop to think what it actually means anymore. Which is a shame, I believe.
Why shop local? If you choose to shop from your local independents, you are choosing also to contribute to your local economy rather than bolster the profits of the large multinationals. You can help the small coffee shop down the road (that isn't part of a huge global chain-naming no names) to stay open, which means the owner can afford to donate prizes to the local school for their charity events. Buying your houseplants from the nearby independent plant store, rather than from a branch of a big DIY chain, can keep the shopkeeper’s dream alive.
How to shop local, you ask. We've all become used to shopping online, selecting gifts without a second thought as to where or how they are made. Now that our small local shops have reopened, pop in and talk to the shopkeeper about where that candle was made and what the ingredients are. Find out about the passionate local ceramicist who makes each piece lovingly by hand in their little home studio.
Shopping local is more personal. It's more human. It's smaller, if you like. It involves looking, talking, deciding. It involves a conscious decision on your part to reject the big, the bland, the ubiquitous and the faceless global brands. Shop small and you can choose where your hard earned money goes. You really can make a difference and it really does matter if you shop local and shop small.