3 Reasons Why It's Important to Shop Local March 31, 2015 14:25

3 Reasons Why It's Important to Shop Local



When we set out to shop, we often hear quiet murmurs encouraging us to "Shop Local." But what does it even mean?

To shop local means to avoid large chain stores and opt to shop at smaller, independently run retailers. This means swapping out Starbucks for The Common. Walking past Lululemon and going to Flow-active. Skipping the line at Chipotle and trying Tacos el Asador

But... why?

Here are 3 reasons why you should shop local.

1. It's Better for the Environment 

 I think by now, most of us realize the pressure we put on the Earth in our daily lives.

Something as simple as buying a product that is made closer to where it is bought will surely lessen your carbon footprint. Let's say I want a new pair of leggings. If I buy them from Lululemon, the fabric is made across where it is often shipped to another country. Then garment is actually made and shipped a great distance to a warehouse, where it waits to be shipped to the particular store you bought it from. 

On the other hand, if you buy the leggings from a local store, like Flow-active, the fabric and garment is made in Canada, and shipped a much shorter distance to the store. Sometimes, local artists like Fellow Citizens even walk their product to the door. Isn't that amazing?

2. It Encourages Human Equality


 It's a fair assumption that no one wants to think a child or severely underpaid worker has sewed their clothing.

This is a reality that many of us try not to think about. But not thinking about it,doesn't make it any less true.  
If you live in North America, shopping locally means the workers by law must be paid a certain amount. It means that you must be a certain age to work. And it means there must be certain safety standards in place.

Of course not all overseas workers are treated unfairly, but some are. And it is difficult to research which companies produce their products ethically. If you buy a product that is locally manufactured, you ensure you are driving an ethical industry.


3. It Promotes Industry in Canada

The job market in Canada is a finicky one. It's tough to get jobs, it's tough to keep jobs. The economy is in a slump and almost no one can actually afford to buy a house in Toronto these days.

 I read a story recently that stated for every $100 spent at a local business, $73 stay in our local economy. For every $100 spent at a non-local business, only $43 stay in our local economy.

It seems clear that an easy step towards create a more sustainable and rich economy is to support local endeavours. It creates more jobs, filters more money into your local economy, and creates a proud community around a local product. 


If you want to shop local but don't know where to get started, here are some tips:

  1. Read labels! Your garments will tell you exactly where they come from.

  2. Research. If you go to the website of a store and they don't post about where they manufacture, it's probably not local. Companies that manufacture in Canada and the US are proud and will state it. Companies that manufacture unethically are not proud and will try to hide it.

  3. Ask questions. Before you buy something, ask the clerk where it comes from. This goes for vegetables and leggings. 


If you have any other tips or points, we'd love to hear from you! Comment and voice your opinion!

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