WHY BUY LOCAL?
Five years ago, ‘globalization’ was just a dirty word. We read about it, mostly in the international press, and wondered why it got people so agitated. Surely out here, at the far end of the world, we must be safe from whatever evils we were warned it would visit upon millions of innocent people. And then, suddenly it was upon us. With whole factories closing down and thousands of jobs lost or under threat, the troubles afflicting the South African textiles and footwear industries, have been widely reported.
Groundcover Leather Company has enjoyed a comfortable niche in the Midlands Meander, where discerning customers have flocked every year in search of quality products.
But not immune to threat, our response is to remain a small business. Small not just because (as has been discovered by a number of our larger manufacturers) you cannot beat the Master of Mass Production at their own game. Small because it allows us to remain flexible and innovative; small because we can continue to make the quality products and deliver the personalized service we have come to be known for; small because we are able to provide our customers with the confidence of having met the people who make their shoes; and small because we have had a long relationship with the families of the people who work here, and will not look upon retrenchment as an easy means to guarantee our profitability.
We have recently launched a small consumer awareness initiative of our own, the Made in South Africa, My China! campaign. While we have adopted a tongue-in-cheek approach, we are seriously concerned about what we believe is an alarming trend.
Both as workers and as consumers we believe the South African public should actively ‘buy local’. We should do it, however, not for some abstract reason, but because we consciously support the South African project. We have established minimum labour standards that seek to guarantee not only that our workers can earn a decent living, but that they are afforded the honour and dignity that goes with the thing called Work. Through the choices we make, we should penalize all those who abuse these principles everywhere.
More about Groundcover Leather Company.