Buying promotional products that represent your brand can be tough. They need to look great and should tell a great story. You want to be proud of what you buy — and buying local can help you get there. The ‘buy local’ movement is growing and it’s good for business and for communities.
Here at Fairware, we’re proud to be a LOCO BC partner — contributing to the movement of strengthening community and growing the local economy. We decided to be a part of this coalition because of how aligned it is with our mission — to provide great products to changemakers across North America.
No matter where you are, there are people in your community that are making amazing, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products that can tell your story and show that you care about where your products come from.
Buy Local and Invest in Community
There are lots of reasons why buying local is good for you and for where you live. Most importantly, it drives your own local economy forward — the place that you call home. While our supply chain is global in nature – the act of looking local first has enabled us to keep a decent portion of our business in our local and national economy.
Our friends at BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) have identified 8 stepping stones to real prosperity in local economies (they’re worth checking out, one is Magic and Soul). From shared ownership to community capital, together they help drive the solutions that are shaping a new economy.
When you invest in local products, you invest in community. You’re directly putting your money into the place where you live, work or play. The community can thrive in a self-sufficient manner — one that doesn’t rely on Wal-Marts for their wellbeing. You’re bound to see the benefits of that investment.
Buy Local is Good Business
When you spend $100 with a local business, it generates an average of $68 in local economic activity. At a big box retailer, that same amount only generates $48 of local economic activity. That $20 difference is a worthwhile investment into the place that you call home.
Not only are you showing your commitment to community, you’re also speeding up your local economy. When you open your wallet at a smaller, more independent broker, it’s likely that money will flow through hands faster. As the theory goes, the local mom and pop shop isn’t making a huge profit — so that bill you just handed over will likely go immediately back into paying for staff, upkeep and other fixed costs. If they believe in the same values you do (a likely scenario), they’re investing right back into their community, too.
And in case you remember those few recessions we’ve had in the early 2000s — local purchasing can help keep economies thriving while bigger industries are taking the hit. Local businesses can create safer, more resilient communities.
Buy Local And Save the Planet
If the economics of buying local isn’t enough, consider the environmental benefits. Buying local means you’re reducing the emissions that it took for your product to get to your hands. There’s a drastic reduction in the fuel used to get your product to its destination, and a decrease in greenhouses gases that were emitted in the process.
You’ve also limited the amount of industrial pollution your product may have contributed to. Many mass product-producing factories externalize their pollution costs and don’t actually pay for the pollution they contribute to our planet. Industrial pollution is estimated to contribute to 50% of the pollution present in the United States, with large industries continuing to be one of the highest polluters in Canada.
Buy Local – Fairware Case Study
The Window Community Art Shop is a great example of local production and one of the suppliers Fairware loves to support. Run by the PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, The Window Art Shop offers employment and mentorship programs to women from the community where they assist in the production of a line of aprons, tote bags and backpacks. By buying their products, you’re directly helping the community succeed. We work with Window Art Shop to make one of a kind aprons.
Research shows that local businesses are also much more likely to reuse materials when possible. These businesses are driving a zero waste economy — ensuring that their products are of the highest quality while doing their part of the planet as well.
Check out this great infographic by LOCOBC on the benefits of keeping your money in your community.
No matter the reason, buying local has benefits that can help your business thrive in a competitive marketing space and do some good at the same time. If you’re looking for some ideas for products that support small scale and local businesses – get in touch with us.