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Why the 'Buy Local' movement matters


 

Rialheim have always had pride in being a Proudly South African brand. We celebrate our heritage by creating products that tell the story of our multi-cultural nation.

2020 has been an unusual year for all of us in the retail space. Covid-19 has had massive economical impact across the globe for retailers, but for consumers it’s given them more space to consider what they are buying and from where. Trend Forecasters are predicting the 'Buy Local' trend will become the trend of 2020/2021, as consumers shift their behaviour and their buying power to support locally sourced and made goods.

This trend tries in with the both the sustainability trend and Fair Trade awareness. Consumers want to know where the item was made, who made it, and how that brand treats their employees. Forecasters are predicting consumers will consume less and rather invest in local, quality pieces. It’s clear that consumers want products that tell a story and the Brand they support must have good ethics. 

I recently visited one of my favourite stores in Cape Town and chatted about the whole 'Buy Local' movement with the amazing lady who always assists me. Her view was that local products are too expensive and she could probably get the some item sourced out of China for 10% the cost of a local garment - and that South African’s are greedy and want more for their money. My immediate reaction was to ask her if she earns a fair salary, to which she replied, “Yes I earn a fair salary”. 

Her thoughts show that there is still so much for consumers to learn about Fair Labour and the impact cheap products have on our environment. The ‘Buy Local’ movement must go hand in hand with fair labour since this provides dignity to artisans. As the Ubuntu philosophy teaches us “I am because we are”, consumers need to become activists and demand more from brands than ever before. No brand can exist without clients. Consumers must use their power to support brands that pay their Artisans fairly and also ensure that they protect the environment.

We as consumers need to realise that we can’t demand fair labour for ourselves, while at the sometime buying products made under conditions we wouldn’t wish on our children. 

"When you buy something handmade, you are buying more than one object. You are buying hours of experimentation and failure; you are buying days and weeks and months of work. You are not buying anything, you are buying a piece of the heart and soul of the craftsman."

Did you know that 60% of all products developed by Rialheim during the course of a year will never be launched? Some products take more than 1 year from conceptualising until it is store ready. By the time you safely bring the Rialheim piece into your home - 20 people would have worked on it at some point in crafting process. At Rialheim we are blessed that most of our Artisans have been with us since we started 7 years ago, and have made Robertson their home with us.

If we are going to promote and support the 'Buy Local' movement, we must hold others and ourselves to a higher standard.

 

Our Ubuntu Mug


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