“When you buy from a small business, you’re not helping a CEO buy his 3rd holiday home. You’re helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy his team jersey, moms and dads put food on the table. Shop local.”
This simple quote about the shop local movement sums up one of the driving motivators behind Authenticitys: we believe that what you spend your money on is what you choose to empower. When it comes to travel, we’re passionate about giving urban travelers the opportunities to spend their money on businesses and initiatives that make communities better, rather than ones that make large international conglomerates richer.
We’ve all heard of boycotting—or “buycotting”—a company or good when you don’t like their practices or values. However, an even more affirmative way of encouraging solid and ethical business practices is to vote with your dollar. It’s one of the truths of travel that, even when you’re on a budget, you tend to spend more money than you might do at home. More meals out, more cocktails, more opportunities to buy beautiful mementos you can take home with you means more ways to “vote.” So even though you may not be a citizen who is politically engaged with the pace you are visiting, you still have an opportunity to support positive community values and social impact in the place you are visiting. Another upside of voting with your dollar is that supporting small and independent tends to also result in more meaningful and memorable experiences. The restaurant owned by several generations of the same family in a small Italian village will have a quality that the chef at a five star hotel can never compete with. The scarf hand-died by a local artisan in their quaint studio will likely mean more to you than the one purchased at a mass-produced outlet. When we support these people, we are not just spending money but creating micro moments that will stand out in our minds long after our trip is over.
However, one of the troubles that social conscious travelers have is that a lot of the time when in a foreign place, they’re are not sure just which proprietors, producers, and shop owners they should patronize if they want to create this kind of memorable and positive after effect. Because we believe that one of the most significant ways to have a positive social impact when you travel is by what you support with your money, our Authenticitys social impact tours have a huge emphasis on local economies, job creation, as well as small scale and independent producers and artisans. Whether you’re into food, fashion, or craftsmanship, here are just some of the ways you can “shop local” when you travel with Authenticitys:
Delhi Market Experience: On this dynamic Delhi-based tour, you have the opportunity to shop for exquisite handicrafts made by some of the best artisans of the country and support local vendors in the process. You will support women and encourage their independence and autonomy via job creation.
Shop and Sip Local: On this three hour walking tour in Madrid, you’ll first peruse the local shops and artisan wares in Triball, a neighborhood that fell out of favor after the Movida Madrileña in the eighties, but is now home to a mixture of fashion, gastronomy, art and design that easily competes with Soho in London or Tribeca in New York. Afterwards, you’ll relax in the backstreets of Chueca, sitting down and enjoying the best local cocktails in town in a buzz of bars that rival each other in offering “the best of the best.”
Eco-Tapas Tour: This alternative foodie tour will show you a different side of Spanish cuisine—one that respects the planet’s long-term sustainability and the fragile food system. You will visit projects in the Santa Caterina-El Born neighborhood such as the d’Horts Urbans Comunitaris, which uses food as a form of social and environmental intervention to positively impact the community. In addition, your participation will help sustain a growing alternative and sustainable food scene in Barcelona and will expand your culinary knowledge.
Sustainable Fashion Barna: This three hour walk follows the paths of the bohemian and emergent barri del Born neighborhood. You’ll discover native designers who represent the city’s diversity and we’ll get to visit their lovely boutiques. By speaking to designers, you’ll understand their philosophy, their inspirations and belief in sustainability.