According to the reading from the week, “Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change”, the most important part of having successful local companies is having consumers who desire local goods and services.
“Moreover, a supply of local fiber requires consumers who will create the demand to support its production and who are willing to tailor their fashion consumption to locally available products.”
Buying “local” is not only good for the economy, but also good for the happiness of the community. There are many programs that we learned about in class this week that support the idea that “buying local is best”. I decided to look up a few local companies nearby that demonstrate this philosophy. After doing a little research, I came across a successful website dedicated to all things local in Oklahoma City. The company offers customers the chance to buy a card (much like a “My Panera card) that can be swiped at various local businesses for discounts/rewards.
The mission of the company is pretty simple. It helps people discover the best local spots in Oklahoma City. The Keep It Local Card helps motivate customers to get out and support the unique local businesses in their town in exchange for an exclusive discount. And with the release of a free iPhone app, it’s easier than ever for customers to find participating locations while on the go. Keep It Local cards can be used as often as possible starting on January 1st of every year and expiring on December 31st of the same year. Every year a new card is released for purchase in order to replace the current card. Cards are $10.
Discounts are offered not only in Oklahoma City, but also in Edmond, Guthrie, Midwest City, Norman, Moore, Mustang, Tulsa, and Yukon.
Although I did not have an epiphany this week, I did see how much of a difference keeping dollars and relations within a community can make. This program, started in Oklahoma, would be a program that would do well in many cities nationwide. Not only does it encourage local shopping, it also educates the community on the businesses in the community that are actually locally based.
This week, I was also very interested in the quote/term “sense of place”. This simply means that members of the community have a good understanding of where they are. I thought it was neat how the author used these specific words to better describe “local understanding”. There are many benefits to having a “sense of place”. I was encouraged to get out in my community and explore the local businesses. I believe that programs like the “Keep it Local” card could use the idea of having a better “sense of place” to sale even more of the cards.
This week I was able to start thinking of how I could actually make a difference right where I am. Maybe that’s where we should all start.