Capitalism has long been the dominant economic system in the world, shaping the way we produce, distribute, and consume goods and services.
While there are certainly benefits to this system, such as efficiency, entrepreneurship, and innovation, there are also some downsides.
One of the most significant of these is the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few large corporations, at the expense of small businesses and local communities. In this context, buying from small businesses can be seen as a way to make the world a better place.
One of the main reasons to buy from small businesses is to support local communities.
Also, flea markets often operate on a more local and community-based level and offer a lot of unique, secondhand, or handmade items that are not available in traditional retail stores.
Cake's founder designer Laurine is always on the hunt to find that one item that sparks your home! Read the flea market tips here!
Due to the pervasive nature of our current economic system, it can be challenging to escape its negative side effects. Profits are generated by accumulating wealth and exploiting resources, including human labor.
Investors, business owners, and politicians are all involved in maintaining the system.
The deeply rooted culture can make it hard to imagine an alternative way of life. It's common to think that the current economic system is the only workable option, associated with freedom, innovation, and advancement. Seeing things this way can create a sense of inevitability that's hard to shake.
From sketch to finish, Cake's founder Laurine Brugman working on a cushion design.
Crafting a Fair Future
As a result of global trade and international relations, a market-driven economic system can be hard to escape. A capitalist system dominated by large corporations and governments makes it difficult for small businesses to thrive. Trade agreements often favor multinational corporations over local businesses and workers.
It's tough to navigate outside the current economic system. Our society is deeply rooted in this intricate structure, and it's woven into global trade and politics. Creating a sustainable and fair future requires alternative economic paradigms, like worker cooperatives and local economies.
Small businesses are often run by people who live and work in the same communities as their customers or artisans. They are invested in the well-being of their neighbors and are more likely to use local suppliers and hire local workers. This, in turn, can help to strengthen local economies and create a more vibrant and sustainable community.
Small businesses often offer unique and high-quality products and services that are not available from large corporations. Small businesses are often more focused on meeting the needs of their customers and creating products that are tailored to their specific needs and interests. This can lead to more creative and innovative products that are not available from mass-market retailers.
Shopping at small businesses can be a revolutionary act for several reasons.
Small businesses are often owned and operated by members of the local community. By shopping at small businesses, you are supporting local economies and helping to create jobs in your community.
Small businesses often offer unique and specialized products and services that may not be available from larger corporations. By shopping at small businesses, you are supporting diversity and innovation in the marketplace.
Small businesses typically have a smaller carbon footprint than larger corporations, as they often source materials locally and have fewer transportation and logistical costs.
Small business owners are often more invested in their customers and can provide personalized customer service. By shopping at small businesses, you can build relationships with business owners and receive individualized attention.
Small businesses are often more socially responsible than larger corporations, as they may prioritize ethical and sustainable practices over profit. By supporting small businesses, you are contributing to a more responsible and sustainable business ecosystem.
We created a gift guide for unique holiday finds at small businesses:
The James - Soulful home treasures "We fill your house with uniqueness, distinctive, and one-of-a-kind items"
Boutique Les Archives - Vintage & 2nd hand "Our goal is to be contemporary in the old & sustainable for the future. We believe in second chances."
Petit Depot - design, vintage and handmade fashion "We are fans of 'buy less, buy timeless, buy consciously'. We are happy to make you happy with a unique find that you will enjoy for a long time."
Bougie Bougie - Candle store "A bunch of candles in your mailbox every month, for yourself or as a gift."
Depeapa - Art prints and accessories "I work with nearby suppliers. I believe that knowing where, how, and who manufactures a product is very important."
A World of Craft - Concept store "We join forces with artisans across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to promote and develop traditional crafts."
Sari butik - Gift shop "We sell interior items, jewelry, stationary & fashion."
Margarida Fabrica - Ceramics "We are a Portuguese ceramics brand focussing on ceramics for the basic needs of life; food and cooking."
Le Dada shop - Concept store "Our products are chosen with taste and responsibility to create a harmonious and qualitative unity, to inspire you to consume better."
Another reason to support small businesses is that they often have more ethical and sustainable practices than large corporations. Small businesses are more likely to prioritize environmental sustainability, fair labor practices, and other ethical considerations. By supporting these businesses, consumers can help to create a demand for more responsible and sustainable business practices.
Many eco-friendly small businesses have become successful in recent years which we can take as an example. One of the most interesting might be Patagonia. Known for its outdoor clothing and gear, Patagonia has become a leader in sustainable business practices. The Patagonia brand has a long history of environmental activism. Through Patagonia Action Works, they support environmental initiatives.
Patagonia founder and his wife have transferred Patagonia to a special trust and a nonprofit organization, rather than selling or taking the company public. These funds ensure that all of the company's profits - some $100 million a year - go to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land. It's unusual at a time when billionaires' rhetoric about solving world problems is overshadowed by their actions.
Choosing to support small businesses is a powerful statement against the dominance of large corporations, fostering a diverse and democratic economy. This act goes beyond a mere transaction; it's a rebellion against conventional capitalism and a step towards a better world.
By endorsing local communities, ethical practices, and unique products, consumers actively contribute to the creation of a diverse, democratic, and sustainable economy. Every purchase from a small business is a deliberate choice to counteract current economic challenges and promote positive change.
Cake is a lifestyle brand offering unique homewares and accessories that celebrate culture and individuality.
Founder Laurine Brugman designs products that withstand trends and fads - creating timeless pieces that you’ll treasure forever.
We’re passionate about preserving traditional crafts and passing on a little bit of love with our hand-made items. All of our items are produced in limited runs to eliminate waste and ensure quality.