Now, more than ever, is a time to invest more in local. COVID exemplifies for us all our reasons for why we began our ChairClub and fought for the power of local. COVID -19 has caused enormous disruption to the world, with South Africa not excluded. Possibly more impacted due to our economic situation.

There are global shortages of supplies and the impact on trade has been significant.  Borders are closed. Which brings us to ask why we have become dependant on certain products when we could use local?

Local materials have the ability to strengthen the identity of a community and provide people with a sense of comfort. It also brings an awareness of their responsibility for their own surrounding environment.

When we support local we can start to see the efforts and the impact it has, not only on our society, but on the environment.  It can bring hope to a country and its communities and people. Supporting local brings down our carbon footprint and initiates a responsibility that should be presented to people.

Local products need to be of the same superior quality to what we would import and meet the lifecycle of the buildings and spaces they are to be used in. The current COVID crisis is creating an opportunity not only for job creation but for reducing greenhouse emissions. Forbes reports that shipping alone makes up three percent of all emissions and 10 percent of transport-related emissions.

If we had to source all products locally, as ChairClub does, we would improve the air quality across the globe by reducing transportation related emissions.  We would create many more jobs and ease of delivery and timing wouldn’t be impacted as we are currently.

The benefits to the carbon footprint would be enormous. We would have cleaner cities, more job creation, and a sense of giving back for equally as good, if not better products.  Look across the skies in lockdown and it’s evident the difference that it can make.

In South Africa we have so many supplies we often don’t explore, we forget to ask: “is it local”. It’s always easier just to import.  We haven’t stopped to work out the impact we would have on our country if we started and continued to support local materials, local people and companies. Materials are readily available, they are suited to our countries requirements and culture.

We shouldn’t even think to look outside our own doors for products where there are proudly South African substitutes.  It brings and begins a whole new life cycle to support local.

The first question we should all begin to ask is, is it locally produced and sourced?  This should be built into all companies procurement policies as well as integral belief systems.

Our nation will be enhanced and changed forever. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Buy local. Make an educated decision.