Small businesses and manufacturing play a vital role in Canada’s economy, contributing to job creation, innovation, and economic development. They are the backbone of local communities, driving prosperity and fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship. The last few years have not been easy on Canadian small businesses, but as a consumer, you have the power to keep these amazing shops open and thriving. Every dollar you spend is changing the world we live in, so use your dollars for good and check out some of Canada’s best buisnesses!
Why Canadian Made Goods Matter
If you’re new to the shop local movement, you might like to find out why buying Canadian made goods matters. Where I’m from, people used to joke that when a new Walmart got built in a community, that it would soon lead to the closures of all the small local businesses. This did often happen, and we slowly saw our favourite book stores, fabric shops and clothing stores close their doors. Today, there are far more challenges for small businesses than just the local super centres. Standards for Canadian made goods are stricter and more regulated than goods imported from overseas. The costs of raw materials and shipping have gone up 30%+ in the last 5 years. Due to these and other factors, offshore manufacturing is more common than ever. Into the 1990’s, as much as 70% of clothing and other textile goods purchased in Canada were manufactured in the country. However, the latest government statistics state that only 5% of clothing purchased here was actually manufactured in Canada.
How to Support Canadian Businesses
So how can we change this? I think it’s simple – if the demand for ‘fast-fashion’ and other overseas goods goes down, so will the production. You can read more of my thoughts about ethical shopping and consumption here. And if you are looking for some amazing Canadian made ‘swaps’ for the products you usually buy, look no further!
Canadian Made Business Directory
Please note – this is not an exhaustive list, of course. But rather a little directory of the shops that I personally love and support. I often get messages from friends wondering where to buy ____, and I figured this would be a great way to share my favourites with you. I have organized the products into categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Feel free to browse this list; this will be a work in progress as I continue to add new shops as I find them.
Skin Care and Makeup
Beth Marie Beauty – Redcliff, AB – Mineral makeup, lip tint, handmade soaps
Shey and Lyna Naturals – Medicine Hat, AB – Handmade skin care
Joilful Essentials – Fox Valley, SK – Self care, wellness and home products
Prairie Soap Shack – AB – All-natural soap and skin care
Home and Candles
Homestead Candle Co – Medicine Hat, AB – Hand poured soy candles
Cleaning and Laundry
The Unscented Company – QC – Laundry, cleaning, dish care, etc
Bubby’s Bubbles – Canada – Laundry
Health and Supplements
Mutha Earth – Medicine Hat, AB – Adaptogenic superfood blends and mushroom coffee
True Balance Aromatherapy – Medicine Hat, AB – Essential oils and blends
Gardening and Seeds
Wildrose Heritage Seeds – Lethbridge, AB – Heritage seeds
Salt Spring Seeds – Salt Spring Island, AB – Herb and medicinal seeds
Incredible Seed Company – Bridgewater, Mi’kma’ki / NS – Seeds
Vesseys – Charlottetown, PEI – Seeds and gardening supplies
West Coast Seeds – BC – Seeds
Green Island Farming – Bow Island, AB – Craft compost and sustainable gardening
TRAD Worm Industries – Medicine Hat, AB – Biologically active worm castings
Posh Panda – Lethbridge, AB – Leather shoes and accessories
Parker & Posie – AB – Eco friendly baby shoes
Kamik – Montreal, QC – Boots (some made in Canada, others in USA)
Province Of Canada – Toronto, ON – Adult size socks and clothing
Bags, Belts, Accessories
Love Art Soul – AB – Boho leather bags, belts and accessories
Sewing Patterns and Fabric
Charlotte Street Patterns – AB – Doll sewing patterns
Montloup – QC – Made in Canada Fabric
Simplifi Fabric – Iroquois, ON – Made in Canada Fabric (specific section on website)
Supporting Canadian businesses and purchasing Canadian-made products offers numerous advantages. By choosing to shop locally, you contribute to the growth of the local economy, create employment opportunities, ensure adherence to quality and safety standards, and promote sustainable and ethical practices. Furthermore, shopping from Canadian businesses helps to reduce the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation. So, the next time you make a purchase, consider the benefits of supporting Canadian businesses and the positive impact you can have on your community and the country as a whole. Thank you for shopping small!