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Support small and local

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Author: Louise Williams, Posted: Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 09:00

While the New Year brings about a great opportunity to look forward to the coming months, I’d like to start with a bit of reflection.

Think back to your Christmas presents and think about what you bought for other people last year. How much of it did you really want or need? Are they things that have been made by people earning a fair wage? Did you wrap them in paper that won’t have to go to landfill?

I’m going to guess that unless you made a concentrated effort, there will be a fair amount that you bought for others that you can’t confidently say yes to the above questions.

Pledge to shop smaller and smarter

Instead of feeling guilty about it, think about what you can do to make sure you don’t feel the same way next year. Can you make a pledge to shop smaller and smarter this year?

It’s January, a fresh start and a chance to be more careful and considered about where your money goes. Our high streets are becoming barer and barer as people turn to the internet for all their purchases. The smaller businesses, the real people, the crafters and the makers are being forced out in favour of mass-produced, un-environmentally friendly and often unethically made products.

I know I for one would rather all of my money go to the people that do all the hard work. For example, buying direct from your local florist instead of ordering from a company that takes up to 35% of the money you pay. Or buying your cakes from a local bakery or cake maker rather than a supermarket.

Also, looking at our wardrobes, waste products are such an enormous issue for our planet. By buying into this ‘wear once’ fashion that looks great on the first wear but then ends up misshapen or holey, with fraying hems and coming apart seams, is what is causing a big problem because they aren’t items that can go to the charity shop when you are bored of them.

Support local makers and crafters

Try to see if there are options that are closer to home, saving the mileage on delivery. Support your local makers and crafters. It’s vital that we help these incredible skills and talents from dying out too. To be able to dedicate so much time to learning a craft to such a high level means that they need to sell products to be able to live.

It can be so easy to buy into the consumerism of our current society with adverts for everything flying at you endlessly from all angles. Sometimes, buying something last minute is the only option, but I’m making a pledge this year to try to be more organised, to try to shop small, to try to support small business and, as this will inevitably be more expensive, to buy less but better quality.

What will you pledge this year to help local businesses and, ultimately, our planet?

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