The 20th century brought big changes in the way we shop. From the marketing ploys of Madison Avenue and the creation of supermarket giants, to the birth of the internet, Black Fridays and Click Frenzies; we’ve been tricked into looking at our shopping in all the wrong ways.
At the turn of the last century, things couldn’t have been more different. People shopped locally with reusable and paper bags (#shoppinggoals) and this had a ton of social, economic, and environmental benefits.
We’re big fans of the ‘ask before you buy’ concept:
- Do I need it?
- What is it made of?
- How long will it last?
- Can I repair it?
- What happens when I’m finished with it?
- Where did it come from?
Knowing where our products come from is a vital part of shopping consciously and choosing the healthiest options for your family and the kindest options for the planet.
Today, there’s a renewed interest and passion in shopping locally which is bringing about an exciting change. And it’s not just happening in local stores, but also online.
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you’d like to be a part of.
Here are four reasons to look for Australian-made products when you’re browsing the local shelves and your favourite online stores.
You’ve got the power
When you buy Australian-made products, your money stays within your community and generates more income for the national economy. You’re supporting local jobs and local industries which positively impacts families and communities.
Every $1 million of new or retained manufacturing business in Australia delivers:
- $333,900 worth of tax revenue
- $985,000 worth of value added
- $95,000 worth welfare benefits saved
- 10 full-time jobs
If everyone in Australia redirected $10 per week from overseas purchases to Australian businesses and products, Australia would save $4 billion each year, creating 100,000 new jobs.
It’s delicious and nutritious
Local produce is likely to be fresher, riper, and purer because it’s sold closer to being picked, doesn’t have to travel long distances, and therefore, is less likely to be contaminated and tampered with. When your food moves more quickly from field to fork, the freshness heightens the taste and retains the nutrients, giving you a more satisfying and nourishing treat.
Buying local also keeps us in touch with the seasons, eating what’s been made available to us by the changing weather. As well as being cheaper, this keeps us eating variety and has been found to positively boost our immune systems.
So many wins!
Unleash your inner eco-ninja
Buying out-of-season produce, like strawberries in July, lowers your eco-cred. As does buying anything that’s flown around the world wrapped in layers of plastic.
Transportation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. A single seat flying economy from Sydney to London return produces the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as running the average air conditioner in the living room during the day for almost a year and a half!
It’s easy to be blind to the distance that our products have travelled to reach our homes. The products produced nearest to you will have lower carbon footprints. In turn, choosing these over their overseas counterparts will help you reduce your own personal footprint, showing our planet some much-needed love.
A sense of belonging to a connected community is of fundamental importance to our health. When we feel connected to a community, and that community makes us feel valued and accepted, studies have proven that we’re more likely to be healthy.
When you buy from small Aussie businesses, not only are you more likely to get to know the owners of the stores you’re shopping at – whether that be in person or through all the means online – but you’re also likely to get to know the backstories of the products they sell, and meet other shoppers; all providing a sense of community and a place of shared values.