Whether you want to buy Canadian made because you are Canadian or want to buy American made because you’re American, or if you are like a growing number of people – who choose to buy North American, one thing I think we can all agree on is that this decision inevitably becomes a lifestyle decision. Like when someone decides to become a vegetarian or decides to buy only eco friendly, sustainable products or only cruelty free cosmetics or decides to turn a leaf by choosing to live healthily… Once you’ve made this conscious decision to forevermore flip over everything you touch in a store to look at the country of origin label and not settle on anything until you see those 3 words you are looking for, it changes you. But all in a good way.
I’ve been consciously buying Canadian-made (mostly) and American-made (really often) for almost 3 years now. It’s difficult to explain how it makes me feel. Because I’m not materialistic, I don’t want to imply that “I love my things” because that’s not it. If I lost everything tomorrow, as long as I had my boyfriend and my dog with me, the rest wouldn’t matter. No. What I mean is that now the things I’ve chosen to surround myself with and to spend my hard earned money on, have a story. A hyper-local story in many cases. And it feels good. Like a collection you cherish or a cause you support wholeheartedly… It’s that ripple effect that starts with the product and ends with the employees who made that product nearby. You actually do think about this when you look at or use the product.
Every dollar you spend on a good is a vote to have more of that good around
When I say that it changes you, it’s also because I discovered that when you seek out locally-made products all the time, like I do, when you don’t find what you’re looking for, it makes you think that perhaps you didn’t need it to begin with. Funny, huh? I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve picked up a product, really thinking I needed it, flipped it over, saw it wasn’t made here, put it back down. I then looked at other competitor products on the shelves around the one I just put back, always with the hope of finding the word Canada or USA… When I don’t, I walk away empty handed and I’m kinda glad I didn’t settle. But really, in my case.. I’m not really walking as much as I am stomping away, fuming over the fact that once again I spent far too much time looking for goods that are made in my country or neighbouring country. Retailers don’t get it and that’s what makes me mad. So many of them act like they control everything when really… you and I do.
Always. Remember. That.
Retailers aren’t the ones who decide what you and I need and want… WE decide what WE need and want. Right? And if we want more products that are made in our country and neighbouring country on the store shelves because we want to buy them over foreign made products, we need to tell them this and they need to listen or suffer the risk of losing hoards of customers. Right? Well this isn’t happening. And as long as we stay quiet about it, settle on complaining to ourselves and maybe online, declaring “we don’t make anything good in this country anymore” when this is 100% false, then we have to accept that nothing will change… Well, I can’t do that. Can you?
Canada and the USA make tons of amazing consumer goods.
Yes, I know, we make a lot of crap too but you get the idea… About 5-6 years ago, I was always on the lookout for products that don’t harm the environment and tips and tricks on how I could decrease my carbon footprint (this was before the term was as widely used as it is now). I often came up empty handed or it was always the same regurgitated stuff. Being eco-friendly or green (god, I hate that label) was still an emerging lifestyle trend. There weren’t nearly as many websites and blogs about this as there are today. There’s weren’t as many businesses catering to this emerging demand as there are today… You see where I’m going with this?
Based on all the research I’ve done online in the past 3 years, take it from me, there’s a huge demand for made in Canada and made in USA products. Everyone is looking for them, but they can’t find any. I think this has more to do with the retailers though. Most brick and mortar stores don’t exactly have isles or shelves just for locally made products. Nor do most websites have locally made sections. People are left to do their own research. Yes, it is a lot of work to do this research but if you follow through, you will find what you’re looking for.
What’s been killing the momentum of this emerging lifestyle trend, is all the idiots out there who keep writing that we don’t manufacture anything anymore… Would you shut up already? What do you think appears every time we do research online for products? How discouraging is it to see page after page of search results with excerpts saying this… especially when it’s just an opinion. An ignorant one at that because it’s not even based on facts! I’d be crestfallen if I was a struggling manufacturer, wouldn’t you?
Do. Something. About. It.
Can we band together? Can we pledge to set other bloggers and reporters straight by telling them to zip it with their untruths? Would you be game to write some letters and emails to Presidents, CEOs and Vice Presidents of retail chains and stores demanding they carry more locally made products? To send thank you notes to manufacturers, thanking them for staying in our countries when so many others were either forced to close or to outsource overseas in order to stay competitive or in business? Do you want to be change agent? Then drop me a line. Let’s form a committee!
- No public Twitter messages.
- Sarah on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Melissact on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Anne Thompson on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Vickie on Buying locally made changes lives
- Sarah on Buying locally made changes lives
- Eco-handbags.ca on Locally-made eco-friendly products on A Morning News Ottawa
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