10 Reasons Why It’s Important to Shop Local
By Chris Gill
Here at Boody, we’re big supporters of reducing your carbon footprint by shopping locally. Because of this, we’re excited to be kicking off our new Shop Local series this month where we will be profiling Boody stores around the United States and taking a look at their unique stories.
But before that, we thought we’d take a closer look at why it’s so important to shop local. From lowering your environmental impact to investing in your local community, here’s why we fly the “Shop Local” flag with pride.
1. It reduces your carbon footprint
One of the key reasons it’s worth shopping locally is that it reduces your environmental impact. Locally-owned businesses make generally more local purchases, requiring less transportation. They also tend to set up shop in town or city centers, meaning there’s generally less sprawl, congestion, and habitat loss.
2. It supports your local community
By shopping locally, you are directly contributing to your local community. Your money is going straight into your village, town, suburb or city – helping it to thrive. Otherwise, you will most probably be supporting a giant chain or conglomerate, meaning your local businesses could suffer.
3. It creates local jobs
By supporting local businesses, you are in turn helping your local economy by creating more jobs. Even a small business needs enough hands to help it sell its products and services, which is why the more we support them, the more jobs will be created and the better off our local communities will be.
4. It’s more personal
Another of the great things about independent businesses is that they’re run by people, not boards or stockholders, and you will likely get to know them. Quite often these people, such as family-run shop owners, will have interesting stories as to how their stores came to be and about the area you’re living in. This personal touch cannot be matched by a chain.
5. You get great customer service
Leading on from the previous point, you’ll generally find you’ll experience much better customer service in smaller, local businesses. Particularly when dealing directly with store owners or their families, you’ll notice that customer service is everything to them – this is what will keep their customers coming back for more. Generally speaking, those working in larger chains won’t be as invested in the business and therefore won’t give the same quality of customer experience.
6. You’re supporting local not-for-profits
Many local businesses support local not-for-profits and charities that are relevant to that area, so by shopping locally you are helping to increase the number of local donations. It goes without saying that bigger companies and chains do also support charities, but if your preference is to support local not-for-profits and charities, your best bet is to shop from your local store.
7. You’re encouraging innovation
Local businesses are usually hubs of creativity and innovation. After all, the very fact they exist is down to the idea from an individual or multiple people. Just look at the cafe and coffee business. There’s constantly a new local hotspot popping up trying to do something different and these ideas are not to be underestimated.
You never know, your local store might be run by an entrepreneur who is close to inventing the Next Big Thing. Support them and you’re supporting their creativity and innovation.
8. They’re often in walking distance
Another way you’re lowering your carbon footprint by shopping locally is that these sorts of stores are quite often within walking distance. Leave the car at home and hop on your bike or take a casual stroll to your local shop to minimize the pollution your vehicle would be contributing.
9. It promotes individuality
With giant chains homogenizing communities, independent businesses bring some much-needed originality. Shopping locally promotes individuality and breathes new life into communities that are dominated by generic and commodified companies.
10. It helps create the identity of your community
Finally, one of the top reasons to shop locally is that it helps to create the identity of your community. A town, suburb or city street filled with unique and vibrant shops will create a more appealing aesthetic that is not only great for the locals but for tourists, too. Just have a think about your favorite towns and suburbs, either here in the US or overseas, and we’re sure they’re made up of unique independent stores that give them their soul and character.
So there you have it. Ten reasons why we should all be shopping locally, although there are countless more. Keep an eye out for our next article in our Shop Local series, where we’ll be interviewing the store manager of Jackson Whole Grocers in Jackson, WY.
In the meantime, find your local Boody store with the Boody Store Locator
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.