Amancio Ortega probably no longer sees every design sold under his brand, Zara, and Erling Persson unaware of which of his H&M’s wide array of products are being made by underpaid Asians. They both do not know their consumers, and do not see the clothes on you anymore, they do not care too as long as everything looks good in magazines and on the runway.
On the other hand, every instagram shop’s owner is reading every message and comment that comes to his/her page. When you order, they end up being familiar with your name for a loooong time. When you reorder, they tell you welcome back, not because some app tells them to but because they actually know you. One advantage of being small, local brand is the intimacy that you get to share between makers and consumers. Most often, the makers love being able to personalize your orders, if there are tiny requests you have on the products you are buying, you can expect you’ll be accommodated more often than not.
Then there is the economics side of buying local. Spending your money on local brands means that money go around the local economy. Shops source from local suppliers, employ local craftsmen, and taxes are paid to the local government too. Once these small business owners grow more successful, further investments are made locally as well so our Inang Bayan is happy.
Ever seen that quote “when you buy from a local business, an actual person does a happy dance”? It actually happens! To get a customer to trust your brand enough to inquire and buy, transfer payment to you and await their packages is actually a privilege; knowing full well that they can walk into Plains & Prints, or Penshoppe anytime.
Lastly, an incomparable value for shopping locally is the rarity of what you are acquiring. Most local brands do not manufacture in thousands, which means that if you choose a small brand (given that they produce their own designs), there are only a few people who will have the same item as you do. We know Uniqlo is irresistible but it is likely that you will run into someone wearing the same thing you are. The advantage of shopping locally is that there is only a .000099 percent that this will happen to you in the Philippines; and .0000000009 chance if you’re abroad.
By supporting small local brands now, you could be helping build the next big thing… and who knows, it could be a fellow Filipino right?