In an increasingly smaller world where globalisation seems to be taking over all industries, we’re beginning to see an interesting trend arise in consumer buying habits.
“Made in England,” “Made in Scotland,” “Made in France”… despite the prevalence of products made overseas, there is something deeply comforting about buying a product which has been produced on your home soil.
In the wake of Brexit and other economic uncertainty around the world, there is an undeniable emotional trigger in today’s consumers when buying local goods. Whether it’s food or fashion, going local seems to be in fashion on the British Isles, en vogue for France, a la moda in Italy – you get the idea.
So what does this mean for those of us who are looking to create that signature look? It means fashion retailers are waking up to the idea of producing goods locally.
Step forward, independent makers. With a close network of suppliers and customers, it is mutually beneficial for both producers and consumers to go local. Just ask Marta from Louise and Zaid – having built her own business from scratch in 2014, she is now a successful manufacturer of bowties, scarves and pocket squares, all from a base in her native Galicia.
Of course, geography plays a huge part, as Marta says: “As an independent brand, we were looking for textile mills which guaranteed us the best quality fabrics. To do that, it was imperative to visit them and understand their manufacturing process, and create a feeling of trust between both parties.”
Knowing that your scarf was made a stone’s throw away certainly cements a sentiment of trust for the buyer too, and this is reflected in the latest statistics on fashion retail. According to Yodel, 72 per cent of consumers prefer to shop locally thanks to better quality work, whilst 40 per cent do so to “support their community.”
For the European market as a whole, this has given rise to more competition amongst individual producers, many of whom are making the best of cheaper labour costs and the local resources available to them. This could see Europe become a worthy competitor to Asian, South American and African producers, with Portugal in particular seeing its leather industry grow by 213 per cent between 2006 and 2013.
It also makes for a more quality-aware customer; with the rise of independent producers cashing in on their locally-sourced products, consumers are keener to spend their disposable income on higher quality, luxury goods rather than mass-produced items. The recession is on its way out, and with it, so is our fear of spending.
Going local also fosters the sentiment of a unique style – it is unlikely that you’ll turn up to a party wearing the same Galician pocket square as somebody else.
As the seasons change, we’re all looking for inspiration for our next look, and thanks to the rise of local suppliers, it could be closer than you think.