7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small

It took me working for small businesses and starting my own to really understand and appreciate the work that goes behind running a small business. It is not easy to motivate yourself every day, to believe in yourself and in what you are doing, in addition, to actually doing everything and working through the layers of bureaucracy.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

1. THEY ARE MORE SUSTAINABLE

It, of course, is not a given that all small businesses are sustainable, but the chances are they are more likely to be sustainable. Small businesses often source locally, use less packaging, use fewer air miles through their production cycle and produce in small batches. In addition, with the growing concern for the environment, many businesses start off with the idea of being more sustainable and helping to make the world a better place.

2. HAVE UNIQUE AND CREATIVE PRODUCTS

Small businesses are either making their own creative products/services or curating a selection for their customers from other businesses. In any case, their offering differs from the mass market that mostly looks the same. When it comes to fashion I’ve noticed that the every shop on the high street seems to be selling the same things over and over and there is no individuality. When shopping from small fashion businesses you will stand out of the crowd. Other small shops are great for individualistic gifts that nobody else might have found.

3. I KNOW WHERE MY MONEY IS GOING

Unlike that of with big brands, small brands do not have several layers of supply chains, management levels, stakeholders groups and all the other additional stuff that you do not see but are paying for with your money. When you are shopping from a small brand you can quite easily see what their values are and know that the money you are giving them will pay for their living and them keeping up the business.

4. THEY GROW THE ECONOMY

Small businesses grow their local economy. The money that you are putting into the business will either support the owner of the business or the business itself. In most cases this means the money goes back into the local community through living costs, employing local people or sourcing from local other businesses. In addition, they are a competition to the big companies and the ways they do business.

5. I’M SUPPORTING DREAMS

Running a small business or any size of a business is hard work and there aren’t many people who are prepared to do the work unless it is their dream and something they enjoy doing. So when you are spending your money on that business you are essentially helping to support the business owners dream. Later on, other young entrepreneurial spirits will look at that business owner and get the motivation to start their own business and the dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

6. IT DRIVES INNOVATION

Small businesses drive innovation and push the economy and the market forward. We’ve seen the rise of small tech companies that drive the innovation in apps and products. It is funny, as it is the big companies that have the funds for this.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

7. I GET BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE

Small businesses know that to get customers they have to treat every customer excellently. It is the loyal customers and their word of mouth that will support their business. Small business owners are thankful when you spend your money with them and will do their best to give you the best experience. They listen to feedback and respond and it is much easier to communicate with them.

I don’t always shop at small businesses, but I do try my best. Last Christmas I got most of the presents from small businesses and they were the best and most unique presents that I gave. And although I am spending more money when I shop at a small business, I get more joy of knowing that I supported somebody with their dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

Pictures are from this pinterest board.

Do you shop at small businesses?

With love,

Lii

Inspiration of the Month – OneSqin

There are times when the inspiration comes from the weirdest places. This time I was scrolling through the Kickstarter page looking if there is anything interesting there. And in the midst of all the other projects, I found the OneSqin project which moved me and made me really want to backup their project. Let me tell you a little bit about it!

Inspiration of the Month - OneSqin - byLiiL

OneSqin is not a charity, but as they say, rather “a business that channels purchasing power towards social change”.

“The first health and beauty brand donating 100% of profits to provide life changing education for girls in need”

This project, or rather a business, is about empowering girls who live in poverty. The company sells organic tampons, organic t-shirts and 100% natural al purpose skin cream, and with the profits they help the girls. All their products are sustainably produced, carefully researched and cruelty-free.

Buying from OneSqin you provide the girls in poverty with a chance to stay in school, access health services and delay marriage and childbirth. This will assist the girls to grow up into independent women, who can support their families and their local community and build a future away from poverty.

Inspiration of the Month - OneSqin - byLiiL

As you probably realised this is a Kickstarter project that can be backed up until 8th of June. So plenty of time to put your money into something great! There are a lot of options to choose from, which can reward you as well as the company and the girls. The Kickstarter is to help the business launch and to see what else they have in mind. So go back them up, I sure will!

Pics are from the OneSqin Kickstarter page.

 

What is inspiring you this month?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable vegetable marking – forget the stickers

Not too long ago I stumbled onto this article about laser marking vegetables in Sweden. A company called ICA wanted to have an environmental marking system for their organic produce and were marking avocados and sweet potatoes by laser. Reading more into it I found that similar type of system has been experimented in the UK as well at Marks and Spencers.

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So what is it?

EU requires the produce sold to be marked in some way. Up until now most fresh vegetables and fruit had been marked with a sticker. The stickers are made with glue and using dyes to print them and are discarded afterward. The laser, on the other hand, peels off a layer of the vegetable or the fruit leaving a mark on it, which can be eaten or peeled. To top this, the technology produces only 1% of the carbon emission than the production of similarly sized stickers!

Laser tagging is still in its early experimentation and it might not work on all produce, however, I cannot be excited enough to be without the stickers! The annoyance to rip them off and having left with the sticky surface. I am looking forward to Marks and Spencer widening their repertoire of laser tagged produce as well as I hope the rest of the Europe would.

You can read more about this from Guardian, DesignWeek and Freshplaza (picture taken from).

 

What do you think about laser tagging fresh produce?

With love,

Lii

Bee’s Wrap Sheets – a sustainable food wrapping

Striving to be sustainable I often come upon the problem of making too much waste, especially when food is involved. For this reason, I usually like to store my food in different containers, but too often I tend to go for a plastic wrap or foil wrap. When I stumbled upon Bee’s wrap on the buy me once website I got very excited and I had to share it with you as well!

 

Bee's wrap - sustainable wrapping - byLiiL

Bee’s wrap sheets are a reusable and sustainable alternative to plastic wrapping your food. They are made of organic cotton, bee’s wax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin, which make them natural, antibacterial and ease to care for. The wax moulds from the warmth of your hands and stays in place in cold. It is easy to clean with cool water and mild soap. If you read their testimonials and how quickly they’ve built the business you can see that the product is a hit.

According to their website all their products are sourced sustainably, including the bee’s wax which is sourced from sustainably managed hives. The product lasts for about a year, but it is biodegradable and compostable so it doesn’t fill the landfills with extra produce.

 

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I am so excited about this product, and the brand, I am planning to order one for an experiment. Did you get excited? If you did, check their website here for more information! Don’t you just wish there were more innovations like this? And that they would spread their wrap so that products you buy from stores were wrapped in this?

Pics from buy me once and Bee’s wrap.

With love,

Lii

The Post-Couture Collective

The Post-Couture collective is quite a new start-up fashion and technology brand, about which I learned recently. I love their innovative approach to fashion and thought some of you readers might be interested as well.

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New Concept

The collective is a new take on fashion. Away from mass-production and ill-fitting garments, they want to offer “alternative to today’s fashion system”. Garments that are made-to-measure on demand and to people who can be part of the making. The brand offers a great alternative to high street fashion, with a reasonable price point to customers who care about the environment and who want to change the way we treat our clothes.

Innovative and Sustainable

The innovation is in the assembly and fabric. The garment assembly is meant to be done by the customer, but rather than using a sewing machine, they have made the assembling easy  with the way they have cut the fabric. You get assembling instructions and top this, you can reassemble it again with different colours if you so wish. Their fabric, Spacer fabric, is made out of recycled PET-bottles and it can be recycled again after use.

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Fashion

Their first collection is designed by mphvs. It is a beautiful minimalistic take on the beginning of this brand. Simple cuts, which give a futuristic vibe with the spacer fabric. I love the light green colour that is visible in many of their pictures. The great thing is they are now designing their second collection with new fabrics such as recycled wool. How exciting is that?

 

The Community

The brand has a good following and a community feeling withing their social media. Especially on facebook, it is like a community of people all caring for sustainable fashion and innovation, quite inspiring!

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I love the idea of this brand and the innovation behind it. I definitely think we should be caring more for our clothing and buy garments that actually fit us. And what a great idea it is to give an opportunity for the customers to assemble their clothing! I think their first collection was a great start for the brand and now I am awaiting what they come up with next, especially with the new fabrics in the lineup as well.

 

post couture Brand rating

There is a beautiful photo series of their products on their website that you should check out! Remember to check their shop as well and their facebook page.

Would you assemble your own clothing?

With love,

Lii