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The importance of buying local isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that has definitely been emphasized and better understood in the wake of the pandemic. With so many local businesses shutting down or teetering on the brink of closure, it has become more apparent than ever that local businesses are the backbones of communities and need our support.
Buying local comes with countless benefits and advantages for communities, business owners, and consumers alike. Consider some of the most significant reasons shoppers should opt to purchase locally made products from local businesses as often as possible.
Support the Community
When shopping locally, you support your community and those who live in it. More money stays in the community when buying locally, making it a better place for everyone.
For example, the Made You Look jewelry store in Toronto represents more than 100 local jewelry designers. When you shop at Made You Look in Toronto, you have peace of mind knowing that your money is going to the Toronto design community.
By shopping local, you also get access to local expertise and can create a lasting connection, which leads to an overall better customer experience.
Not to mention, there is also the added benefit of discovering great new stores and markets in your own backyard that you may have overlooked in the past. These places often offer interesting locally made products and services that you often can't find in the franchise and big-box chain stores.
Better for the Environment
Environmental impact is increasingly a top concern for consumers, and for good reason. Having products shipped from all over the world creates a giant environmental footprint, with estimates suggesting that 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are from shipping.
When you buy products from big online retailers, big box stores and giant corporations, those items have travelled long distances in airplanes, ships and transport trucks, all releasing pollutants into the atmosphere. They also require more packaging to protect them during their long journeys.
There's also the fact that cheaper alternatives often require a higher cost to the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of the non-renewable resources required to manufacture them.
When you're buying something inexpensive from across the globe, it rarely lasts. Whether it's fast-fashion clothes that shrink or lose their shape after a few washes or something that falls apart quickly, mass-produced products rarely last a long time. There's a good chance you'll have to replace it, and likely sooner rather than later. When you buy quality local products, you might pay a bit more upfront, but the items will often last for a more extended period.
Shopping locally is an environmentally friendly way to support local businesses while also discovering hidden gems with different products that you previously overlooked. Supporting locally owned companies creates a chain effect with them supporting other local businesses and donating to local nonprofits and organizations. It helps make a lasting positive impact on local businesses and supports a thriving community.