Globally, countries urge shoppers to purchase domestic goods above imports to assist local livelihoods, small business growth, and job creation. Here on African soil, this call for conscious consumerism is now more important than ever.
Yet, to simply encourage people to think and shop locally isn't enough. We also need to establish environments that support and celebrate local design and the creators behind these courageous homegrown brands.
The Local Edit responded to this call with an e-commerce app that is making it easier than ever for consumers to support local, with all the convenience of contemporary online shopping.
Established in September 2021 by Christine Meintjes and Berdine Swart, The Local Edit is an app that allows users to discover and shop across some of the best South African designer brands, all in one cart.
The app is free to download from both Apple and Google stores. With over 12,000 quality locally designed products, from over 140 South African brands, including a wide variety of curated clothing, jewellery, accessories, furniture, smaller homeware goods, skincare, as well as kids, pets, and wellness products. The app also offers the convenience of Gift Vouchers, which can be sent digitally to loved ones.
The Local Edit offers all of these products at the same price and shipping rates as if you purchased directly from the designers' independent online stores, but with the added benefit of it all being in one place. Plus the added benefit of saving products or brands you’d like to come back to at a later stage.
It all started with The Pretty Blog which entrepreneur Christine Meintjes launched in 2010 as a platform for sharing inspiring lifestyle content. “Through building strong relationships with people in the industry the blog naturally started showcasing incredible local products that we adored. And soon, many people asked where they could find these products,” says Meintjes.
The idea to create a low-impact, convenient offering that would allow people to discover and shop from local designers was born, and The Local Edit emerged as a first-of-its-kind e-commerce solution.
The team knew they wanted to mirror a store-like experience with a wide range of products. They wanted shoppers to be able to browse products by brand or by well-curated edits, which is their way of exhibiting a handpicked category collection.
“As a supporter of local, I personally wanted to see multiple brands in one location. I wanted variety, to understand more about the brand’s story as well as the ability to discover new like-minded brands and products. I also wanted to be able to save products for later purchase and have the convenience to shop it all in one cart, without visiting multiple online stores,” says Meintjes.
And, while conceptualising an app with sophisticated functionality, the team also took significant reflection to ensure its business operations were low-impact. “We don’t warehouse, or repackage, as every order is dispatched by the independent designers, to support our low impact approach,” says Meintjes.
When choosing products for the app, The Local Edit looks for a combination of aesthetics, quality, authenticity, and the story behind the brand. More importantly, the brand and products must be locally grown by designers who hold a close connection to their production line.
“For us, the designers and what they stand for, are as important as the products themselves. Not only do we sell products, but host three sections dedicated to storytelling. The first is each independent brand story. The second is internal editorials where we celebrate creators in the local design industry through educational and inspirational pieces. Thirdly, our internal podcast, Behind The Edit, where we share authentic conversations with the people behind these incredible brands,” Meintjes adds.
By investing in local businesses and supporting local makers we begin to imagine and mobilise ourselves to become better consumers. By doing so we become part of a greater community that intentionally contributes to creating thriving local economies that produce and consume with care.
Through its app, The Local Edit hopes to educate consumers about local talent. They take creativity seriously and connect local creators to discerning consumers who want to make more conscious consumer decisions.
It is fortunate that South Africans are setting trends, locally and globally. With so many talented change-makers and brands we are pioneering a different way of doing things – a way that is slower, more considered, and most importantly local.
Find The Local Edit in Apple or Google app stores. Visit www.thelocaledit.com and follow us @thelocaledit on Facebook and Instagram.
Download now to shop and discover the best South African brands, all in one place.