We’ve set local blogger Emily Prowse a challenge: every month, buy something from a local business instead of from a chain store, and tell us about your experiences. This month she chose to shop at Dimensions Health Store in Upper Bangor.
Following my recent article about the importance of buying locally, I’ve been set a challenge by Prynu’n Lleol Gwynedd to change my shopping habits by buying something I’d normally buy from a supermarket or chain store at a local business instead. I’m going to be doing this once a month.
This month I went for two staples that most of us can’t do without: shampoo and conditioner.
I’ve never been particularly fussed about which brand of shampoo and conditioner I use. I normally grab whatever’s on offer at the time; as long as it smells nice, isn’t too expensive and gets my hair clean, I’m not fussy.
But recently I’ve been trying to make changes to the products I use day to day for cleaning the house, and to the products I and my family use to clean ourselves – so my first local business to visit was Dimensions Health Store in Upper Bangor.
Dimensions is one of those fantastic shops that sells gorgeous organic products, dietary supplements and health foods, as well as self-care products and cruelty-free cosmetics. Dimensions has a great atmosphere, is run by wonderful staff and is the go-to place for all things healthy and natural.
When I went in I didn’t really know what I was looking for as I wasn’t familiar with any of the brands of natural self-care products they sell. It was great looking at all the different products that Dimensions had to offer, each one boasting about being made from natural ingredients that weren’t harmful to the environment. It was very refreshing to see this and know they were genuine – as opposed to the more mainstream ‘natural’ products that really aren’t all they claim to be.
One thing I’ve realised, having swapped to a local business from a big chain supermarket, is that in smaller businesses there are lots of lovely products that you wouldn’t see on big supermarkets’ shelves because there might not be enough demand for them to suit the majority of people that shop at a supermarket. I also think that in smaller businesses the owners take time to think about what products they want to sell and what their customers might like – it’s just more personal. This means that small local businesses offer the opportunity to discover new things, which is always a plus in my book!
I eventually chose a shampoo and conditioner by Suma that smelled amazing and were made of all natural ingredients. The price wasn’t bad considering the size of the bottles. I usually pay about £7 for my hair products at a supermarket; my purchases from Dimensions came to £10, but there was an extra 100ml in each bottle of the natural stuff compared to the “leading brands” I would otherwise have bought from a supermarket. I didn’t mind paying this bit extra because I knew that the products I bought from Dimensions were helping to keep a local shop open, and I was able to be kinder to the environment in the process. Another added benefit: my hair felt amazing after using them too!
About the author
Emily Prowse is a mother of two young boys who lives with her partner and sons in Talysarn. Originally from London, Emily has lived in Gwynedd since she was 10 years old. She is a fluent Welsh speaker and is raising her children bilingually. Both Emily and her partner are self-employed; he as a translator and she as a blogger and crafter. Emily writes about eco-parenting at her blog, Nature-Loving Mama, and sells her hand-crafted products through her Facebook page, The Happy Little Pie.