Over the years we have seen a growing trend towards shopping at independent retailers and businesses. Here at Cosy Cottage Soap HQ, we are proud supporters of many small and independent businesses. Whether it is through our wholesale services or collaborations with inspiring local brands, ethical business means so much more than the ingredients we use.
We've come up with 8 compelling reasons to shop local. If you need a little persuasion or you are looking for some facts to encourage your friends and family to do the same, here's our top 5 reasons to shop independent this summer.
1. Nurture our communities
By supporting one small business, we often set in motion a chain reaction of supporting other independents. Small businesses often work in tight-knit local or digital communities that support one another and work together.
Over the years we have collaborated with an array of small businesses in Yorkshire and beyond, from Choc Affair to Kemps, Cooperillo to St Tudy Food Wraps. And with plenty of new projects on the horizon, we will continue to support our network of independents. If you haven't done so already, sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.
2. Saves the environment
Small businesses and even independent online businesses tend to stock more locally produced products or items made and sourced within Britain. By cutting down on environmentally costly distribution journeys, items tend to have a much smaller carbon footprint. This one is a winner for us alone!
3. Customer care
Small businesses are run by people, not boards and algorithms. They earn a living through reputation and repeat business so, in order to survive, they must provide an excellent level of customer service. This often means creating a personal experience and really getting to know their customers, even if it is just for the few minutes they pop into their shop.
For us even as a predominately online small business, we get to know some of our biggest customers and followers. We get to know the characters and personalities of our customers through social media and our emails in a similar way physical shops do with familiar faces.
4. A high quality
Similarly, independents must create amazing and high quality products in order to compete with corporate competitors. For most of us, our work is a reflection of ourselves and we certainly take great pride in our products and all that we do.
In a world full of chain stores designed to make us all clones of one another, independent shops create an outlet for being just that: independent. After all, what a boring world it would be if we all shopped at the same places and purchased the same things.
Shopping small allows us all to retain our distinctiveness and it is something we are really enjoying being around here at our new home in Malton. The food capital of Yorkshire is host to a wide range of (delicious) independent shops and cafes. For more on our hometown, visit their website.
Take a greengrocer, for example. They will be able to tell you exactly which farm that vegetable has come from, even down to the name of the farmer who harvested it. It is this traceability that runs throughout all independent businesses, a far cry from the large corporations.
7. Driving innovation
As independents are not tied to corporate offices and lengthy processes, we are more adaptable. We can be at the forefront of social, technological and environmental movements, paving the way for our customers to join us. For us this means that whilst supermarkets are looking for ways to reduce plastic from their vegetables (don't forget to tweet them #pointless plastic if you see it), our packaging has long been plastic free.
8. At the end of the day, it means the world
An independent business owner is not the same as a corporate CEO. Instead, founders of independent brands have fought their way from nothing, facing a multitude of personal challenges to get to where they are today.
Every sale means an awful lot to a small business owner, it is recognition of their hard work, shows support for their product in a powerful way and means putting food on the table for their family.
So there you have it, our top 8 compelling reasons to support with your local and independent businesses.
What are your favourite small businesses? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you with businesses with a similar ethos (and potentially partner up in the near future)!