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  • Writer's picturecharlotteharley11

5 Reasons To Shop Locally

Updated: Nov 22, 2018

Festive shopping is just around the corner and before everyone starts going into a shopping frenzy and hitting the high street, I thought I'd write something about why I'm choosing to buy from local independent businesses this year.

Being a small business myself I can't tell you how much it means when someone chooses to buy from me when there are plenty of well known shops already out there selling what I make. However, I don't mass produce, I don't have a factory or warehouse and I'm definitely not shipping products over from China to sell on. I don't even have a work shop or studio - it's just me in my kitchen at home melting wax in my big melting pot!

The Just A Card campaign aims to encourage people to buy from independent shops/designers/makers by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses. 

Here are 5 reasons why I'm buying local wherever possible this Christmas...

Shop door with an Open sign on it
Photo by Alexandre Godreau

1. It's unique

I love buying gifts for people that are quirky or one offs. The nice thing about independent shops is they often stock items which are made locally and aren't available elsewhere. The product you buy then becomes more than 'just a gift' it becomes a representation of a place or particular community. So not only supporting the local community of makers and designers but being able to give a gift to someone knowing it's one of a kind is really special. Each candle I pour is going to be unique and different to the next candle I pour making my brand authentic and original.

Charlotte Harley mixing wax and oils in her kitchen
All my candles are hand poured making each one unique

2. It's ethical

Buying out-of-season produce, like strawberries in December, lowers your eco-credentials. As does eating exotic fruit that has been flown halfway round the world or wrapped in layers of plastic. When you shop at local gift shops, florists, butchers, bakers and farm shops it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short journey to get there. When I started my business I wanted to use only UK based suppliers so there's less carbon footprint and as a result making it greener and kinder to the environment. My wax, wicks and containers come from Scotland and my essential oils from a supplier in Oldham. I recycle all my packaging and although I'd love to be plastic free, at the moment the bubble wrap I use to ensure your products reach you in one piece is recycled too.

3. It goes beyond the till....

High street purchases end up in the same, bottomless corporate bank account. Whatever you spend with an independent business is guaranteed to be a significant part of their monthly income. Each time I get a notification to say I've sold something I do a little happy dance, it literally makes my heart sing! I love creating products that not only look beautiful but knowing they are going to help people really is the best thing about what I do. You are supporting someone's dream who has

4. It's personal

Most independent businesses are run by people - not by boards, stockholders, or algorithms. As a result you get a different kind of care and quality in their product because their work is a reflection of themselves. It takes 24 hours for me to make a candle - from melting the wax, to mixing the oils, to pouring and then allowing the candle to cure. I then finish off the candles by making sure there are very few air bubbles (if none at all) and make up the boxes putting labels on them all individually, by hand. No fancy machinery here thank you very much! I take pride in my candles and have tested them all to make sure you get the longest burn times with the best scent throw possible.

5. It supports the local community

By spending your well earned money locally you'll be investing money back into your community. Choosing to shop local helps a community to thrive. A thriving town centre can improve house value and put pressure on local councils to improve transport links, so everyone's a winner . Not to mention you are supporting creative and innovative local talent. With a little bit of encouragement, they could be the local entrepreneurs of the near future. Move over Jo Malone.... :o)

Lime and Basil soy candle

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Oct 27, 2018

I totally agree with this. When you buy locally you are helping the environment, getting an individual product and helping your local community grow. When you go abroad there are so many local small shops selling great products. We have lost that a bit in the UK.

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