Photo Credit: Supplied

Keeping it local this festive season for gift givers is one way to give back to the country’s economy, dreamers and doers. But, there are many other reasons to make your shopping cart special, South African style:


South Africa (06 December 2023)  — It’s interesting to think that when we’re shopping for gifts and surprises for our loved ones over the festive season, we’re also setting up to give in other ways—time, energy and support.

The businesses we support benefit greatly from the giving season. For many small, local businesses, it’s a highlight on the calendar for greater opportunity. For others, it’s a sure lifeline.

“Every rand we spend has enormous impact when it goes to a local small business; we have seen this time and time again in our work that locals supporting local creatives keeps the creative economy moving,” says Craft + Design Institute’s (CDI) CEO, Erica Elk. 

“Every consumer can make a difference; all through meaningful choices that benefit the local environment and local communities,” Erica adds.

For the CDI, a non-profit development agency that, for 22 years has committed to helping local creatives flourish and supports over 6800 businesses and artisans to boost the nation’s craft and design sector from the ground up.

They have shared their top five reasons to keep our gifts local this festive season; a list that everyone who wants to see South Africa win should keep in their back pocket!

5 Reasons to Keep it Local this Festive Season

1. Heritage Preservation

Creative products made in South Africa not only make gifts that can’t be found anywhere else, but also help share our heritage with each other.

2. Economic Impact

An obvious, but important point. By choosing to buy locally, consumers are able to support each other’s dreams and make room for more economic growth and opportunity stemming from small dreams. This, in turn, creates more jobs and inspires others to act on their dreams!

3. Personalised Power

A really awesome thing about shopping local, is that there are often personalised notes to the product that make it even more relatable. This could mean something handmade or customised, or a product that echoes the spirit of a certain area and community.

4. Sustainable Surprises

Smaller businesses often have more ethical and sustainable practices entrenched in their ethos. If you are looking to be a sustainability-conscious gift giver this year, start small and local! Whether it is slow-made practices or upcycled creations, many small South African businesses understand the assignment.

5. Conscious Consumerism Education

When we shop small and local, we’re also gifting someone else the chance to jump on the conscious bandwagon. More thought tends to go into purchasing handmade, personalised pieces from clothing to decor. As such, more thought goes into receiving this kind of gift when you’re armed with the knowledge of where and who it came from. Conscious consumerism matters because it reduces how much we buy and puts more thought into where we spend our money, which is very important for both spending habits and the kinds of businesses we support.

So, keep an eye out for your next local market (in person or online), give the sustainable small shop a second thought, and always look out for social enterprises that make and sell goods to benefit those who most need it.

Sources: Craft + Design Institute 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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