Shopping locally whether for food, clothing or home decor, has been a growing trend which has had positive results on our environment and local communities. As a society we are becoming more aware of the impact of consumption on the planet thanks to scientific research regarding climate change. As the demand for quality products rises that are ethically made, we have to look towards consuming locally as one of the important ways to live more sustainably.
The True Cost of Production
Local production creates jobs within our communities with fair wages and optimum working conditions. Locally made goods are more likely to be made by hand with premium materials, resulting in better quality but also higher prices. For example, compared to the hourly rate of workers in developing countries of 15 to 30 cents, a Canadian worker employed by a local brand would earn an average of $20 an hour.
Producing in small batches also leads to higher prices however with more attention to quality resulting in products that last longer and outperform similarly mass produced items overseas.
Shopping Locally and Carbon Footprint
Although the Covid-19 pandemic had devastating consequences globally, it actually helped improve the promotion of local businesses. As students and professionals spent more time working from home, they had more time to research local brands in essential products they consume everyday.
Producing locally lowers Co2 emissions and greenhouse gases as the distances between fabric mills, production workshops and farmers and the end consumer becomes much shorter. In the world of fast fashion, a cotton T-Shirt usually travels 35 000 km before landing in someone’s closet. This is because of the numerous steps the material, in this case cotton, goes through in different parts of the world to become a wearable item for its end consumer.
Shorter distance also has the positive effect on reducing shipping times for manufacturers and customers. This again has become a key issue recently with shortages in supply chain and delays in transit times.
A typical mass production factory
Boosting Local Economies and Efficiency
Local production also has the benefit of boosting local economies. Since materials and labour are locally sourced, the revenue gets injected right back into communities, ensuring a healthy job market. This creates better transparency for manufacturers and consumers alike since they can trace where everything is being sourced enabling them to support local business.
Local production allows for efficiency not only in terms of controlling the amount produced more easily but also in terms of waste. Companies that produce locally are more mindful about reducing waste as their volume of production is proportional to the demand. Surprisingly, Canadians still toss on average 32kg of textiles into landfills every year.
BEDI Atelier (Montreal, Canada)
Made in Canada
At BEDI we’ve committed to producing all our pieces in Canada. We use leather taken from retired Air Canada seats, seatbelts gathered from local scrap yards, sustainably sourced cotton from the U.S. and fabrics made from regenerated fish nets. Our hardware pieces such as our signature buckles are powder coated and engraved at home, in Montreal. As sourcing and producing locally is such an important aspect of sustainability, it will continue to be an important part of our DNA.
S/S ‘22 BEDI