There are so many ways to shop this holiday season while still being kind to the planet and to your wallet.
One of the best things you can do is shop local. Not only will your gift be unique but you’ll let small business owners everywhere do a little happy dance every time they see a new order come in. I know I do! I run my own business where I create recycled custom jewelry and accessories, so I know the importance of supporting local.
Often times, small businesses will be open to customization or changing little things about their products to make you happy, but when you buy from a big box store, what you see is what you get.
Why be one of the millions when you can be one in a million? Shopping small is fantastic because you are helping someone in your community pay for their child’s first ballet class or their university expenses, not some random millionaire who is buying their fifth car.
You don’t have to plan ahead and scour the internet months in advance to find the perfect gift and worry about it arriving on time. Brick and mortar stores are great places to find local goods and sustainable products.
Fortunately, we have a couple of great stores right here in town. In Saskatoon, you can find some unique items in stores like Joyne Collective Marketplace and SaskMade Marketplace.
Craft Markets are also amazing places to find some incredible pieces. Although most of them happen in November, there are a few left that will be happening in early December for those who like to start their shopping then.
Some of these markets are the upcoming Mistletoe Market at Yay! Thai on Dec. 13 to 14 and St. Mary’s Christmas Market at St. Mary’s Parish on Dec. 14. There is even the Etsy SK’s Saskatoon Winter Market on Dec. 14 headed up by some local Etsy artists.
Here are some Instagram handles of great local businesses you can shop from this holiday season that can help you keep your money local and help the Earth through many of their great upcycled or reusable products:
1. Handmade sewn and padded reusable snack bags – @munchkitsyxe
2. Polymer clay earrings and beautiful bracelets – @k.elevendesigns
3. Beaded bracelets with $5 from each bracelet going to the humane society – @_beadsforacause
4. Scrunchies from a local young business – @bowdownyxe
5. Stylish consignment clothing – @instlye_apparel_
6. Planner stickers for all your planner needs – @Busylizzieplans
7. Custom hair accessories at affordable prices – @thehairclipgurl
8. Hand-cut wooden signs and decor – @saskatoonchic
9. Fun and functional children’s activity boxes from a young entrepreneur – @busyboxshop
10. All-natural lip balms from locally sourced beeswax in biodegradable packaging – @willowstreetbees
11. A reusable alternative to saran wrap made with beeswax and cloth – @wrapgodyqr
But also keep in mind that not all gifts have to be store-bought or purchased through artists — you can make your own gifts. There are many fun DIYs on Pinterest and simple knitting crafts to try. You can even bake something special, or you re-gift items you have received in the past.
The benefits of shopping local or DIY-ing gifts are endless. Not only do you get a more unique and personalized gift, you support business owners that might be your neighbours or people you see in the street instead of faceless corporations. This holiday season, choose the local, greener option.
Hope N.S. Jeffery is a student at the University of Saskatchewan and owns and operates Hopeful By Hope. Her products can be found on Etsy and Instagram.
Hope N.S. Jeffery
Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor