This is the first of a series of blogs about buying Canadian.
As consumers, we are always searching for the best deal. Too often we associate this with the lowest price when what we are actually looking for is the greatest value for our dollar. Although cheaper products may meet our immediate short-term needs and be easier on our budget, perhaps there are other factors to consider before making a purchase.
There are reasonably priced quality products that last, pass strict safety standards, are ethically made and support our local economy, available right here in our own backyard. When buying Canadian-made products from a Canadian store, you are not only getting great value for your dollar, you are also giving back to the economy and the environment.
These are important issues to consider, especially when buying products for our children. A quality product will last as long your child needs it, and can be reused for your second, and third child, etc. It can also be given to a friend or family member when you are done with it, or sold, or donated. Buying a less expensive item that wears out quickly and needs to be replaced several times doesn't seem like the best value for your money. Quality products tend to be not only sturdier and longer-lasting, they may have features and functions that are not present in cheaper products. These features may add to your child's comfort and your convenience. You can also be assured that Canadian children's products are regularly tested for safety, and recalled and updated when necessary. Buying Canadian provides you with assurance that quality, great features, longevity, and safety are built into your child's product. Your child deserves nothing less.
Our buying choices affect not only our own families, but have far-reaching consequences. Canadian manufacturers provide a variety of different types of jobs in their communities at a fair rate of pay and with safe working conditions. Local businesses also support local charities and events. As more people are choosing to buy cheaper goods from overseas and to shop online, more local businesses are forced to shut their doors. This results in job losses, less money in the local economy, and a weaker sense of community. At the same time, the importation of cheaper goods into our country supports "sweat shops" where wages are extremely poor as are the working and safety conditions of the workers. Until better practices are in place in these overseas factories, buying their lower-priced products hardly seems like the ethical choice, or a good example to set for our future generation.
Canadian companies are not only subject to stringent rules concerning workplace wages and safety, they must also adhere to environmental regulations. As we know from media reports, this is not the case in some overseas factories. Also, goods manufactured elsewhere need to travel to their destination, which contributes to pollution. As we care for our children, we need to consider our role in protecting the future of our planet for their sake.
Quality workmanship, fair pay, good working conditions, and environmental responsibility may result in higher price tags on Canadian-made products, but what about the cost of cheaper goods to our economy and the environment? Is the lowest price always the best price? Or is value for your dollar, along with ethical responsibility, the more economical alternative?
As a consequence of the demand for cheaper products, it has become increasingly more difficult to find Canadian products. However, there are still many locally-made products available. In subsequent blogs, I will be highlighting various Canadian companies that manufacture children's products.