This time of year evokes the tradition of spreading holiday goodwill and cheer to all. As everyone begins their holiday shopping in the next few days, I encourage you to shop for gifts and supplies within your own community by supporting the diversity and quality of your community’s locally made goods.
Over the weekend, I found some amazing shops that make safe and eco-friendly items. I mean there was an abundance of locally made products, from accessories, to housewares, to gourmet foods and art which got me thinking…I live in this amazing community for over 6 years now and I’m surrounded by all these amazing local shops, but I don’t really support them. Sure I’ll go to a Farmer’s Market now and then, but most of the time I’m just browsing. I don’t go out of my way to support local businesses and that needs to change.
I want to support and do better for our world. So this year, I’m making an effort to support local urban crafters around my community.
Shopping online and bargain hunting at big box chains is temping when gift shopping, but buying locally is important. When you buy local goods, you are supporting local businesses and farmers while keeping your hard earned dollars in the community where you live. Every dollar spent on locally made products reinvests in your local economy and allows local businesses to grow and hire more local residents. Economists say that “if each American were to spend just $64 on items made in the USA this holiday season, 200, 000 jobs could be created!”
Supporting local crafters is also a great way to contribute to a sustainable future. One locally made business that follows a more sustainable practice is Rickshaw Bagworks.
They have a simple approach to their business model:
We also observe the “KISS” principle: Keep It Super Simple. By making products to order, we can offer a portfolio of bags designed specifically for our own lean manufacturing process. We don’t maintain a finished-goods inventory, and our materials are delivered just in time. We keep our supply chain as short as possible, purchasing most materials from American manufacturers and working with local subcontractors who specialize in the few things we don’t do ourselves. We also focus on direct sales, as opposed to wholesale, to improve profit margins and support higher costs.
Their line of bags are made from recycled water bottles and produced when an order is received. Rickshaw also works with local vendors for a variety of outside services, including screen printing and embroidery. They even make many of their vendor visits by bicycle.
I applaud their sustainable concept and manufacturing process which begs the question: Why can’t we support more local businesses like this?
Rickshaw developed a new unique culture that supports us everyday folks. Buying locally not only ensures that your hometown economy remains strong, but that shopping districts stay vibrant and unique.
Are you inspired now? I sure am! Start thinking about how you can make different holiday shopping decisions this year.
Ask yourself: Can I make better decisions this holiday season? Can I buy more locally made goods this year? Can I be aware of where these goods are manufactured? Are they safely made? Are they safe for my family? Are the people making them getting paid fair wages? Are they giving back in a positive way? Are they recycling their materials?
Make a pledge to yourself to buy at least one locally-made gift this holiday season to support the people and businesses in your communities.
This is a great opportunity to use the power of your purchasing choices to make a difference in your community while being socially responsible, economically smart, and environmentally sound.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Markerly and Rickshaw Bagworks.