‘Buying local’ simply means buying something made or produced locally to you. This could mean anything from buying meat sold at a farmers market in Wrexham to jewellery handmade in Orkney or bread produced in a Lancashire factory. When we purchase goods, sometimes we don’t think about the consequences of where we choose to spend our money. This article discusses the far-reaching benefits of supporting UK businesses and buying locally made goods on local communities.
Support Local Jobs
Very often, local makers and producers are small businesses; at the start of 2018, there were 5.6 million small businesses in the UK (fsb.org.uk). If you purchase goods made in the UK, you support local employers and create jobs for local workers. This has a knock-on effect on jobs in the supply chain. If you purchase a bottle of cider made from locally grown, seasonal fruit, you not only support the maker, but also the farmer who grows and sells the apples. Continued support means local producers will have more funds to invest in and grow their businesses, creating employment opportunities for locals and more tasty cider for you!
Invest in Manufacturing & Local Industries
Choosing locally made goods means supporting a local manufacturing environment and the jobs it provides; UK manufacturing currently employs 2.7 million people (Make UK).
Retain & Develop Skills
With increased investment in local manufacturing comes the opportunity to retain specialist knowledge and skills. Certain areas of the UK are renowned for manufacturing certain products. Northampton is known for its shoes, the Highlands for its whisky and Birmingham for its jewellery.
Improve Public Services
Local businesses pay local taxes. Supporting local businesses means more finding for schools, transportation, emergency services and social care for you and your family.
Responsible Waste Disposal
The UK has stricter guidelines for waste disposal than many of the countries we source goods from. Support local brands who adhere to the strict regulations regarding chemical, dye and packaging disposal that protects our environment.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The fashion industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than international flights and shipping combined (New York Post, 2017). Purchasing locally made goods reduces your impact on the environment as the goods require very little transportation and packaging. Manufacturing goods on a small scale means local producers have a smaller footprint; they contribute less to urban sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution. The brands on YouK with a high score for using local input materials have an even lower footprint.
Choosing local brands helps to support the environment, UK workers, and our public services. Every brand or product featured on YouK contributes to the UK in this way. Discover the brands based in different citites in our Local Brands series.