As I grow older, I think more consciously about my purchases- do i really need this? can I afford it? is it cruelty- free? is is organic or natural? could i find this somewhere local? I live in a bustling neighborhood- the hot spot of the city, if you will. Because of my locale it makes it easier to buy local and support independent business. Almost every thing I need I can find in my community.
There are three groceries stores in a 10 block radius- two of them being organic. I buy the majority of my clothing at the store I work at, which is an independently owned and run shop. I buy all my toiletries at the pharmacy in my neighborhood. I go to the yoga studio and gym near by. I buy all my book at the book stores a few blocks away or go to the library literally 2 blocks from my apartment. You get the idea.
When I see something in the mall I know I could also get at an independent retailer, I will usually wait to buy it. While I do occasionally shop at box stores, I prefer not to. Sometimes it will cost more to shop at a small business, but think about how your money is helping them and the neighborhood they are in thrive. Shopping local helps build the community, creates jobs, fuels the economy, and keeps small businesses open. When I buy produce at the Farmers Market I am giving my money to a person and not a corporation, I am helping to ensure they can keep growing the vegetables they do, I am eating seasonally ( which is so good for our bodies), I know I am buying quality products, and I supporting the endeavors of others in my community.
As I mentioned, I work at a small, independent store, which sells rockabilly, pin-up, and vintage reproduction. I have heard many times, customers say they just want to try an item on so they can go buy it online or they saw it cheaper on line, so they refuse to buy it at the store. Blank stare. You’re kidding right? When people shop online they are NOT supporting their own community and in the long run, they are contributing to putting independent companies out of business. Yah, sometimes you can find something cheaper on line, but after the shipping and the possible duties, you don’t save much. Not only is it important to shop local, but if you do shop online, shop Canadian.
I can’t say I shop local 100% of the time or I buy from Canadian websites all of the time, but I do make the effort to do so. I think we all should. Why wouldn’t you want to support your own economy- the one you are directly effected by. I know that money sometimes is the issue…it is cheaper to shop at Walmart or a big box store than a small grocer or independent pet store, etc. Do some comparison shopping, sign up for newsletters, watch for sales, and get a ‘reward’ card.
I plan to compile a more complete list of Canadian companies and local, for Edmonton, companies, but here is a small start:
Barefoot Venus- made in Kelowna, British Columbia
Rowena and Retroglam.com- Edmonton, Alberta
Wild Prairie Natural Skin Care- Canadian made natural soap and other body care
Lux Beauty Bar- boutique selling cosmetics and other beauty products in Edmonton, AB
Keep an eye out for a more complete list and feel free to comment with some Canadian companies you love!