Written by Hailee Settlemoir
Amazon is so damn convenient. So, I can see why it’s easy to default to it during the Holidays when the pressure is on, and money is tight. However, the pandemic has made it VERY clear how essential small businesses are to the local community. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), there are 28 million small businesses in the US. Not only that, but those small businesses provide 66% of new jobs. Although they are “small” businesses, their impact is anything but small! Even if you contributed to Small Business Saturday, supporting small businesses should be a habit not just during the holidays, but year-round. If that doesn’t convince you, here are some reasons to support small businesses this Holiday season:
Rather you’re buying candles, clothing, or a coffee mug, small businesses offer unique products that will have family and friends begging to know where you got them from. Small businesses often have handmade products that are packed with love. If you’ve been gifted something from a small business before, you know how much more personal that gift feels. There are so many small businesses that cater to a specific niche, so it’s easy to find something special for everyone on your gift list this year!
In supporting small businesses, you get to avoid supporting the fast fashion industry. If you’re new to sustainable living, fast fashion is the production of inexpensive clothes by a mass-market retailer that often caters to the latest trends. Although produced and sold at a low cost, fast fashion has an abhorrent effect on the environment due to the toxins released during production. Additionally, the fast fashion industry encourages large amounts of waste in order to keep up with the latest styles. By shopping with a small business, you can avoid fast fashion and end up with a product that you can cherish.
While I can’t speak for all small businesses, most do contribute to more sustainable business practices. Big retailers are often hard to trust, but small businesses know that consumers are likely to pay more for a product that doesn’t harm the environment. If you’re in the mood for a fresher, more sustainable Holiday meal, I recommend checking out a local farmer’s market or vendor. Not only will you support local farmers, but your food will contain fewer chemicals that grocery stores use to keep them fresh for travel. This will keep you and your family healthy and support local farmers happy.
Overall, shopping with small businesses boosts your local economy, provides more jobs, and allows for more special gifts for the ones you love. Small business owners are extremely passionate about their work, so supporting them not only makes you happy but makes them happy as well. Often, that can’t be said for large retailers. By shopping small, you can help local entrepreneurs afford presents for their own loved ones this Holiday season. Since we aren’t doing an article about being more sustainable during the Holidays this year, here are some environmental facts about the season to consider before you buy that new wrapping paper or artificial tree. Stay sustainable my friends and safe travels!