So, with this in mind, I'd like to share a sad story with you.
I was recently in a wonderful yarn shop (doesn't matter where). I spoke to the owner about what fabulous yarn she had, and she shared with me a not unfamiliar story . . . that there are a significant number of customers who enter, fondle, leave, and buy the same yarn elsewhere--for a few dollars less.
So these were not people who had to buy online (those poor souls who do not live near yarn shop): these were people who
- wanted access to the yarn shop so they could check out the yarn but
- chose to buy it online for a reduced price.
When we buy from a local yarn shop, we are supporting one of our community's entrepreneurs. And everyone tells us that the solution to economic growth is small business. These shops are essential to the well-being of our communities.
In addition, I will share with you some thoughts from The Watchman's Rattle. This is a book that lists the beliefs that hold us back from solving our problems. One of these beliefs is extreme business practices, which she defines as
- the need for profit
- the need for speed and efficiency.
So, to solve our problems and to save civilization as we know it, we need to reject the need for profit and reject the need for speed for their own sakes. Neither of these will help us solve the huge issues that keep us awake at night.
Well . . . knitters are role models for this behavior! Given how expensive knitting is, nothing we do can be done for the profit motive! Given how labour-intensive knitting is, nothing we do can be done for expediency! We should be rewarded for our rejection of business practices that don't serve the world!
(I would also guess that anyone who reads a blog about knitting is a role model for this behavior, so I am likely preaching to the choir??)
In addition, we could probably agree that pretty-much everything of value executed by human beings (art, family time, music, solutions to climate change, architecture, volunteer work) is, or will be, done without profit or efficiency as motivating factors.
So, back to the LYS. We absolutely must reject the need to go elsewhere to save a few dollars!!! The profit motive that drives us to do so might not be good role-modelling and does not serve us, our craft, our communities, our civilization.
Again, those ethical considerations we bring to bear on everything else we buy should be turned to knitting. Buy less? But buy local!