Our values 5 min

Why buy local?

Here are some explanations other than economics why buying local is the way to go.

By Fonds de solidarité FTQ

You've probably heard people say they are proud to buy local. But what does “buying local” really mean? In a nutshell, it means choosing products that are manufactured and grown in Québec, shopping locally at independent stores, and choosing Québec companies over large multinationals. We've gathered some explanations that extend beyond economics to help you understand why buying local is the way to go.

Here's what it means to buy local and why it's the way to go

Buying local might appear to be more expensive, but Québec artisans tend to use higher quality materials. Whether they do so for ethical reasons or as a matter of pride, quality is another good reason to buy local. Paying more for something that lasts longer can be worth it.

Buying local is also more equitable. Sure, non-local products may be certified fair trade, but Québec's labor standards guarantee all workers are treated fairly, from when the raw materials are produced right to when the products are designed and manufactured.

Want to go green? Buy local. There is less transport and reduced risk of loss when the things you buy are produced nearby. Even if you have to visit more than one store, you will still travel far less than that fruit bowl made in China or that T-shirt made in Cambodia and shipped around the world.

Producing things locally sometimes has a further advantage: small-scale producers can wait for people to place their orders before making the products. On-demand production means less waste.

Isn't buying local more expensive?

Imagine a favorite new sweater, one that will spend more time keeping you warm than hanging in your closet. If you factor in all the costs involved in making it—textile manufacturing, design, pattern making, cutting, sewing, finishing, packaging, transportation, delivery, rent, electricity, labor, and the list goes on—it's quick to see that local entrepreneurs have a lot of costs to cover.

When you consider that everyone from the person who manufactured the sweater to the one who designed the label gets paid fairly, the price charged by local designers doesn't seem so high. And if the product is 100% local, it helps create jobs and keep them here.

Okay, but where do I start?

If you are the sort of person who shops online for a winter coat or a new bike, use the Internet to find local designers. Check out their websites to see what they have for sale. You can often cut out the middleman and buy direct!

Prefer to see things in person before you buy? Check out Etsy: Made in Canada, a local pop-up market that showcases handmade products.

Even if you don't buy a locally made product, you can still support Québec companies like independent bookstores, activewear shops like Lolë, eyewear boutiques like Newlook, and outdoor equipment stores like Sail. Visit Signé local and Le Panier Bleu for more information about local shops and designers.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can also have a taste of local. We don't just grow food in Québec, we also process it. Think croissants fresh out of the oven at your local bakery, and how about our renowned craft beers? Visit Aliments du QuébecAttention, this link will open a new tab. to discover foods that are grown and processed right here.

How to develop good habits

Maybe you're willing to pay a little extra to buy local, but how do you make it a habit without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips.

Buy less but buy better

It's simple math. If what you buy costs more, you'll have to make some choices to stay on budget. Get in the habit of asking Pierre-Yves McSween's big question: “Do you really need it?” (You can even pick up his book if you're curious!) It's easy to buy more than you think, especially when you're shopping online. Remember that locally made products are often higher quality and more durable. By putting them at the top of your list, you should need to do less shopping.

The Web can also help you find exactly what you're looking for. Need a pair of winter boots that are indestructible, waterproof, and stylish? There's probably a shop somewhere in Québec that has what you're looking for. Don't settle for less—buy exactly the pair you want. You'll wear them because you like them rather than buying another pair halfway through the winter.

Make things last longer

If you invest in an item of clothing, you should probably take care of it. Eliminate unpleasant surprises in the laundry room by following the care instructions! And if it's dry clean only, remember that you're supporting the local cleaner!

Fast fashion has gotten us out of the habit of having our shoes repaired by a cobbler and our pants mended by a tailor. We can extend the lifespan of our belongings by taking care of them. It's good for the environment and good for your pocketbook.

Dare to go retro or secondhand

We love that vintage isn't just a passing trend. Secondhand is perfect when you're not sure it's worth forking out big bucks.

Remember, finding the perfect thing in local shops is exciting as you unearth treasures.

Keep your savings local

The TFSA with FlexiFonds not only helps you save for important projects, but also allows you to support the Québec economy thanks to mutual funds that invest primarily here.


About FlexiFonds de solidarité FTQ
FlexiFonds de solidarité FTQ inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, is a mutual fund dealer duly registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers. FlexiFonds de solidarité inc. acts as the principal distributor of the FlexiFonds funds and does not distribute the units of any other mutual fund.

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