Why I'm aiming to shop small and shop locally made this holiday season:

- Made in Canada supports our local economy
- Helps Canadian Mamas (and sometimes Dads too) stay home with their family
- Quality over Quantity; better fit and often for longer
- More environmentally friendly and sustainable options
- Unique and often one of a kind, customizable and creative options

For awhile now, I have been fascinated and excited when I can find something locally made. Even something made in Canada seems to be few and far between these days in the popular big box stores. I have come to learn that items that are "made in Canada" can have major differences among them, however. For example, you could be supporting a handmade maker in Canada, a Canadian designer that finds ethical manufacturing options for their products within Canada, a company that designs in Canada and manufactures overseas (which may or may not be ethically manufactured), or a company that simply has a warehouse in Canada that ships out the items they have received from overseas...MAJOR DIFFERENCES! I did not use to think about the differences in these options and the impact they have on our economy and our environment.

As I have continued my journey in cutting out plastic in my life where I can and aiming to be less wasteful, I have come to think more and more about the purchases I make every day, as well as those purchases that I make for my family and friends. Since my son has been born, I have started paying more attention to where his clothes and toys are made and how they are made. As a maker myself, I can appreciate the time spent designing something, gathering the right supplies, and putting it all together. Through doing some research this year, I have come to find many small shops around me, in BC and across Canada, who are aligning their practices with qualities I have come to admire and appreciate.

In addition to the craft fairs in my local area and the small shops who are also carrying made in Canada products, I have found many small BC and Canadian shops online. Here are some I will be supporting this holiday season:

Calgary, AB: the zomper has become our go-to outfit with an ankle-ankle zipper convenient for easy diaper changes

Fernie, BC: organic cotton leggings and toques made in beautiful wilderness designs

Lilly & Frank
Surrey, BC: organic handmade cloth diapers

Josiah & Co.
Hamilton, ON: not only are these crocheted booties beautifully handmade but they are"handmade with heaven babies in mind", something near and dear to my heart

The Baby Niche
Lethbridge, AB: wooden and silicone teething toys handmade by a wife & husband team

Trae Designs
Squamish, BC: handcrafted wooden toys

Timber Child
Okanagon, BC: natural lifestyle products for children such as wooden plates and toys

LoveBird Sewing Co.
Armstrong, BC: coziest blankets, but also home of the baby nest, one of the best and most used purchases we have made for our son

Peaks & Valleys Baby
Smithers, BC: swaddles, blankets, changepad covers, and crib sheets in beautiful organic fabrics

Snuglee Bug Knits
Surrey, BC: cozy knit toques (and she used to make baskets, too)

Why am I posting about this? Because I really did not use to think about the impact of my choices on the environment and the economy, because I want to support small Canadian businesses and people wanting to stay home with their children, and because I appreciate a good quality handmade product. You may pay a little bit more up front to buy locally handmade, but if you do your research, you will often end up buying less and buying something that will last, which is far more sustainable for us and for our environment.
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