I’m Charlotte the copywriter, mother-of-three, originally from Newcastle, later from London. I moved to Woking five years ago. Buying local has been important to me since long before I found the Best of Guildford – in fact, I’ve tried to shop with small, independent business since I was a student. While it’s something I still try and do, it’s getting harder and harder, particularly now I no longer live in a city.
Here’s why it’s important to me.
I don’t like big chain shops. Driven by price, these big shops have compromised on quality and ethics. I don’t like watery vegetables and peaches that never ripen, both of which are the results of large-scale farming at the supermarkets’ command. You’ve seen the posters about how much food we throw away, haven’t you? Do you think we’d chuck out less if it tasted better? I do. We might be a healthier nation too.
It’s also easy for big companies to cover up the facts about where the clothing and food are really coming from. If a chain shop can sell a T-shirt for £4, how can that £4 possibly cover the cost of quality materials as well as a decent wage for the person who made it? And horse meat, anyone?
So you see, I don’t like chain shops. But lest you feel plunged into the Slough of Despond after my little rant, here’s why I do like small, independent businesses and why I try and support them.
When you shop with a small business, the quality is usually better, and backed up by great service to ensure you get the right potato/tin of paint/laptop for your needs, saving you from making an expensive mistake. If you’re buying clothes and they don’t quite fit, an independent clothes shop will sometimes be able to alter them for you then and there. I had cherries thrust into my hands at the market the other week – try before I buy? Yes please!
Life is busy and it’s easy to fall into the habit of going to chain stores because it seems quicker and easier. And – yes – sometimes it has to be done. But I’ve noticed the decline of independent shops, I’ve noticed that we have less choice when it comes to buying what we need, particularly in towns. So let’s keep our independent shops open, let’s pledge to buy local. Let’s spend our money in those small, independent, local shops and keep them open for a good while yet.
Member since: 9th July 2012
Former public sector EA and PA, now a mother of three and a copywriter. I create blogs and features for the Best of Guildford but write for other people as well, producing web pages and press releases,...