We often hear the phrase ‘support your independents’, but how many of us actually know how or why we should do this? Supporting ‘independents’ basically means dealing with smaller, local traders in any aspect, rather than big corporate companies. This can mean anything from your local fruit and vegetable trader, to locally made clothing and of course, locally made art and interiors. It’s something many people know they should do, so why is it then, that most people still hand over money to giant companies rather than their own peers? If you were in any doubt of why you should start supporting your local independents, here are just some of the benefits of doing so.
You know where the money goes
When you buy an item from a large chain store, do you really ever know where the money goes? We like to think that the majority of the sale would be handed straight over to the designer and manufacturer, but in reality, most of it usually goes to the suits at the top of the business. International business owners can often be multi-millionaires, whereas most small business owners struggle to get by. When you buy from an independent trader, you know that most of your money will be invested back into the company. Any left over will go towards supporting that individual person, and possibly their family too. Doesn’t that feel a lot better than paying into some global businessman’s retirement fund?
You get something completely unique
The thing amount most large, well-known businesses is that everything they produce, they produce en-masse. Therefore you could end up with a really lovely painting from a high-street store, or maybe some fabulous home decor. But the sheen wears off a little bit when you realise that thousands of other people up and down the country now also have living rooms that look exactly like yours. Another benefit of buying from an independent trader is that you know what you get will be absolutely unique. Even if they do produce a range of products, that may only mean that thirty or forty replicas are made – so that’s still a pretty unique item. If you want to see how artists and other independent creatives work, try reading art history articles online. This will help you make your next purchase with a bit of knowledge to back it up.
You may be able to sell it on
Of course, no really buys anything (except property) with the sole intention to sell it on. But there may come a time in your life where you need to downsize – or maybe you have just grown bored of a particular item and feel as though you need a refresh in your life. So, don’t just reach for the bin bag to chuck everything away. Items from independent traders may sell for a decent profit, simply because they are so unique. People tend to appreciate handmade goods, so the base price is almost always higher than a mass produced item. Plus, who knows – that artist you bought that print off ten years ago could now be Banksy!