Technology at our fingertips makes it easy to shop online and beat the holiday rush. Online shopping vastly expands our ability to treat ourselves and our loved ones to unique finds. But that is not the only option, and it certainly is not the one that most benefits Jamaica. This Christmas, we urge Jamaicans to patronize local merchants who offer great stuff/buys at home in your community and surroundings. Give your feet as much of a workout as your fingers and discover the treasures available locally.

The benefits of shopping in Jamaica are many, so here are a few to motivate you to switch today.

  1. Reduced environmental impact – locally made items have a smaller environmental footprint because we use less carbon and less packaging, that end up in landfills.
  2. More revenue for the local economy that benefits you, your loved ones, and neighbours. For every $1 spent on small local business, 70% stays in the local economy. Spending in your community also creates jobs and boosts industry as supply chains largely stay local. If you are a business owner who shops locally, your neighbours will be encouraged to support your business as well.
  3. Decreased cost to you – by shopping locally you can avoid shipping costs, import tariffs, and currency conversion losses.
  4. Builds community spirit - develop relationships with vendors and store owners that can lead to safer neighbourhoods as we “look out” for each and promote lasting community pride.

As we get closer to Christmas we will see a lot of pop up shopping sites apart from the popular one at Devon House. For now, we can share two other local spots in Kingston and St. Andrew where you will find great buys:
Kingston Night Market – this Tuesday night pop-up offers unique Jamaican-made finds. Enjoy live entertainment and refreshments as you browse the many stalls with arts, crafts, jewelry, textiles and so much more.
Story and Myth – a locally own jewelry shop that wows locals and foreigners alike with handmade island inspired pieces from local artisans using locally sourced raw materials. Follow them on social media for stories and myths told with chalk drawings to enrich your experience.

Even if you see something you like online, chances are you can find something similar in your local community.  Of course, some items may simply not be available here. In such cases, be a conscious shopper and order all you need at once to reduce the number of packages and shipping charges you incur.  Whenever possible, buy local.