Why Shopping Small Is More Important Than Ever
Over the last few years, shopping small has gotten chic. But there are more reasons why you should shop local than just following the trend. Shopping at local stores, for local food, and with small business owners is a win-win for everyone involved. Here are a few examples of why it’s more important than ever to shop small.
I’m sure you’ve heard it already, “Shopping small is more sustainable”. But what does that really mean? A lot of different things, actually.
If you’re shopping for locally produced foods, it’s more sustainable because the food isn’t transported as far, cutting down on vehicle emissions. Because the commute — so to speak — is shorter for local produce, you’re also benefiting by eating fresher, more nutrient-dense food! And you’re more likely to shop what is naturally in season, which encourages farmers to work their land with more respect for the natural capabilities of the Earth (less chemicals and depletion of the soil!).
With less chemicals and more nutrient-dense foods, you can nourish your body and staying healthier throughout the year!
For instance, did you know that locally produced honey and elderberry syrup can help you fight seasonal allergies and cold/flu symptoms (you can do a quick online search to learn more from professionals)?
If you decide to shop at a local boutique, chances are they have a partnership with other local small business owners, non-profits, or organizations that are doing good for the community. This means that every time you spend money with them, you’re not only giving the shop money but also all the other people who are involved in the process!
Local shops are also more often concerned with sustainable packaging, shipping, and production. You can have more control over making low-to-no plastic purchases, buying in bulk, and saving money/resources on shipping. For instance, see if you can find a no-plastic store in your area where you can buy shampoo and conditioner in bulk. Just bring a clean, empty shampoo or conditioner bottle to the store and fill it up!
Bottom line: Momma Earth thanks you when you shop local!
It Builds Community
In more ways than one, shopping local builds community. The most obvious way is that most local shop owners are very familiar with their clients and therefore have a better, more loyal relationship with them. Here’s a story about just that:
Earlier this year, I was shopping in a local boutique in my hometown (Charlotte, NC). As I was walking around the store, I noticed a needlepoint hanging on the wall. This needlepoint looked familiar to me — very similar to one that had hung in my parents’ house in my childhood. I snapped a picture and sent it to my mom.
Immediately, I received a phone call from my mom, “That’s our needlepoint! I accidentally gave it away and thought I’d never see it again!”. My heart began to race — what was I going to do? Were they selling it? Would they give it back to us?
In short, I approached the person working at the shop and told her the story. We spent 15 minutes talking about how incredibly serendipitous the day had turned out to be before taking the needlepoint down and bringing it out to my car.
This store is now my favorite boutique in town and I have become a loyal customer. Would that have happened at a Target? Definitely not. I guess it’s all about what you’re looking for. I, for one, am looking for a place that feels like home as soon as I walk through the door.
How to Start Shopping Small
If you’re looking for ways to shop local but aren’t sure how to start, a great way to begin is by checking out the website for your local Chamber of Commerce. Many small businesses will be registered members and should be listed in a directory. Social media is also a great way to find small, local businesses. Where are your friends shopping? Next time they post that cute new plant in their Instagram stories, click on the handle of the shop they tag and see where it takes you!
This piece was written and contributed by:
Hi, I’m Meaghan! I’m a Marketing Coach, currently living in Charlotte, NC. With a background in teaching and over 5 years of experience in corporate marketing, I decided to use my skills to develop marketing materials and resources that new business owners could ACTUALLY use. My attention to detail and crazy work ethic help me transform not only the success of a business, but the mindset of the person running that business. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader, your accountability coach, and your business strategist. Ok, now where are we meeting for coffee?