The Importance of Supporting Independent Vegan Businesses
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
There are loads of really important reasons why shopping local and independent is so important. Behind every independent business is someone looking to be successful on the own terms, rather than those dictated by someone else. Personally I just don't thrive in a traditional workplace environment. Starting my own business has meant so much to me. It allows me to be super flexible when managing my mental and physical health. It means that I get to choose to work with some incredible people and build my own support network, without the bullshit of 'office politics' or trying to impress the board. You are my shareholders and are what really make my business pop.
Transparency is so important when you're a small business. It's really hard to truly know where the things you buy have come from. It's like in The Good Place (if you haven't seen it I highly recommend popping over to Netflix once you've finished reading this). At one time you could buy a bunch of flowers for your Mum and you would get loads of good points because they had been locally, organically grown by Ethal who lives round the corner. Now you buy a bunch of flowers from your local supermarket, they've flown half way round the world, been treated with unknown chemicals to make sure they last longer and likely involved some form of exploitation because when you buy anything that cheap, someone, somewhere is paying for it. And it's not you're fault. With all the other demands on your time, it's really difficult to make a choice to shop somewhere that is less convenient to get to, or visit many different places to get a full weeks food shop.
I know I'm not perfect, I still shop at the local supermarket and order things at a certain online retailer because I just 'have to have it' the next day. Small changes start to make a big difference. Last year I brought all my gifts from other Independent (and mostly Vegan) Businesses*. This year I'm trying to buy fresh, local produce and utilise my zero waste store a lot more.
I'm so happy to be part of the Vegan Traders Union. It helps consumers make more informed choices about where they spend their money. By knowing your money is going to Vegan Business Owners, it make sure that we're strengthening the Vegan Economy.
*Note: I only buy Vegan goods but the business may not have been Vegan e.g. I buy only vegan yarn (preferably organic cotton) but the local independent retailer also stocks wool.