Life is hectic. And in the run up to Christmas it is oh so tempting to use the large corporations for our Christmas Gifts. Rarely do we get the opportunity to pause and think about what it actually means to support our local businesses, but we thought it was important to take the time out to find out more. In this latest blog, we speak with a handful of our lovely local artisans about the impact 'supporting local' has on them and our community.
What does it mean to support local?
According to the Green Business Bureau, buying local is touted as the best way to be environmentally friendly while supporting local communities at the same time. By purchasing food and other goods that are produced locally, consumers help stimulate their regional economy, help create and retain valuable jobs, support families and strengthen community and culture. Do our local artisans echo these sentiments?
Nate from Bristol-based Candle Company, Padg Made, kicks us off: “Local businesses are the beating heart of a city and buying indy and local makes a massive positive impact to not only that indy maker or brand but to the local economy generally. I personally get so much more joy out of something I’ve bought if it comes from an independent maker. You know the craftsmanship, the time, the dedication that’s been put into it.”
And it's the experience of shopping local that seems to be key to its appeal. Kate Beatty from KBT Design: “Since starting my business, I appreciate the real difference it can make to shop local; both on the High Street and online – not only because local businesses need our support, but also the quality of service I have experienced in using local business; the potential environmental benefit of shopping locally and the sheer variety of often unique products you can find via local suppliers and businesses that aren’t widely available which, especially on the gifting front, make that gift that bit more special.”
Quality of produce
One of the themes that emerged across our suppliers is the quality of the produce and the sourcing of ingredients; something that Andy from Hope & Arley lives and breathes: “Our ethos is rooted in attention to ingredients, and an unfailing promise to work closely and considerately with farmers. As a company we care about where our ingredients come from. Not many people can say they know where their pistachios come from down to the very orchard they are grown in, and the farmer who grew them.”
Similarly, Alexandra Naughton from Naughtons Skincare prides her business in using honest ingredients concentrating on quality over quantity.: “Supporting local means we become less dependant on imports and we can instead buy something with wholesome natural ingredients that are actually good for you.”
It is true that there are huge benefits to being a small artisan which as a consumer, we get to benefit. Twisted Oak Brewery hand brew their beer in small batches using the finest ingredients together with water from the nearby Mendip hills. “We love being small, we believe that small is beautiful and by being small we can ensure that every drop of beer that leaves the brewery is perfect in every way.”
There is no question that sourcing locally has a positive impact on the planet.
The team at Twisted Oak Brewery talk more about the low mileage associated with sourcing local ingredients. “Sustainability and localism are at the heart of Twisted Oak Brewery. Much of our beer never travels more than 35 miles from the brewery, most of our bottles travel less than 16 miles and a healthy regular supply to local pubs barely travels 2 miles. Therefore, like most small businesses our delivery miles are very low. When it comes to bottling our beer, we chose Bradleys Juices of Hewish who are only 6 miles from us so that we are supporting another local business in the process.”
Not only is it the locality itself that makes the produce so much better from an environmental perspective - we find that our local suppliers take their ethical and moral responsibilities very seriously and are innovative in the ways they reduce their carbon footprint.
Nate at Padg Made sums up this responsibility: "Business owners have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure they create environmentally conscious products. So when coming up with the concept of Padg, we decided we wanted to do something more and empower our customers to take matters into their own hands. This is why we include a free packet of wildflower seeds with all our candles and it is why the packaging is designed to be the perfect starter pot to plant them in! It’s so simple – plant nectar rich wild flowers with every purchase."
Shop local with Boxlocal
So there we have some REAL examples of what it means to support local and that is why we are so proud to include high quality, local produce in every single box.
If you would like to support these local heroes and give a gift that is genuinely doing good for the planet and our community, browse our range of Christmas Hampers today. And check out the Build Your Own page to find the products from the suppliers included in this blog.