Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat…and the High Street is full of stressed out shoppers. Why put yourself through the pain when great things lay right on your doorstep.
So here’s a choice: you want to buy a Christmas stocking for the little people in your life. You can buy one from Tescos or from your local craft market.
It’s probably easier to buy it at Tescos, and it will undoubtably be cheaper. But remember Tescos have be linked with slavery both at home and abroad, and have been frequently investigated for anti-competitive practices.
Your local designer meanwhile hand makes her stockings here in the UK, and uses recycled fabrics. Plus her profits are more likely to be pushed back into the local community.
When you look at it like that is any further discussion needed?
If you think there is then we’ve come up with five other reasons why this Christmas you should ditch the High Street and shop local.
1. Make new friends
Whether you’re new to an area, or have lived there a while, shopping locally is a great way to get to know people in your community. And once you start using your local butcher, baker or pretty scented candles in a teacup maker, you’re bound to unearth an interesting character or two.
2. Better customer service
Local businesses have more to gain from giving you good customer service, and more to lose if they don’t. For the over-worked and unpaid sales assistant on the High Street it makes no difference one way or another.
3. Better quality
When you shop local you’re often buying from the person who made the goods. This means you can ask lots of questions and often get resizing, refitting or repairs done easily.
4. Beat the crowds
Christmas shopping on the High Street is going to hell in a handcart. Huge crowds, long queues and tired feet. Shop locally and you can take it easy. Stop off for a coffee at the local deli, and there’s no rush to get home as it’s just down the road.
5. Justify your crap present
It’s Christmas day and your relative has just opened their present. Their face drops. When you shop local there’s no need to panic. Simply smile and say “I bought that from a local designer who promotes sustainability and teaches sewing skills to children with learning disabilities.” Who could not feel warm and fluffy about a present like that?
If you want a gift that ISN’T crap AND is made by a local designer who promotes sustainability and works with children with learning difficulties, then check out Significant Seams. They do fabulous crafty things like quilts and stockings that are better than those in Tescos. They also run workshops and do gift vouchers.
Slow fashion consultant, Rewardrobe, has done something of a blogathon on ethical Christmas markets and pop up stores around London. If you live further afield you can check out the UK Christmas Markets website for local crafty events near you.
Photo: Hilda Rocket from E17 Designers