With the growth of dedicated retail events like Small Business Saturday, more consumers are embracing the ‘shop local’ movement. In fact, 69% of U.S. consumers now say that they prefer to support local retailers!

This trend is a fantastic development for independent brands. In 2019, it’s the uniqueness of small businesses that is their biggest drawcard: 61% of consumers say that their motivation for shopping local is being able to buy products that they won’t find elsewhere.

For apparel brand Little Chicago Clothing, spreading local pride is at the heart of their mission. noissue speaks to general manager Margaret Moneypenny about celebrating the Midwest through sustainable style.

(In Margaret’s own words):

“Greg and Amy Eibel are the founders of Little Chicago Clothing Company. By day, they are both middle school teachers in Canton, Ohio. Amy is an art teacher and Greg is a social studies teacher. They are both passionate about revitalizing their community. They love northeast Ohio, and the special bond that people from this place share.”

“The vision behind Little Chicago Clothing Company is to contribute to the rebirth of Canton and its surrounding communities. For us, Canton is home. It’s a city of football. A city of steel. A city of grit and work ethic, pulling itself up by the bootstraps to become strong again. Little Chicago’s designs call upon that local pride. When you buy and wear a Little Chicago t-shirt, you’re taking that step toward revitalizing your community. Every town has a story. But those stories are written by people and experiences. Every time you wear or see our shirts, you’re reminded of that story… one that you’re a part of. They remind you of where you came from.”

Pro tip: Branded stickers are a great way to customize your stock compostable mailers!

“Sustainability is our top priority. As we previously mentioned, all of our products are sustainably sourced. Our apparel is manufactured in facilities that are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified and follow the Fair Labor Association Workplace Code of Conduct. A large percentage of the fibers used to create our apparel is recycled polyester and 100% organic cotton. This goes for our printing process as well. We use low-impact dyes and inks, and all of our apparel is decorated with care, in Stark County, Ohio. We always encourage our customers to buy and support local brands whenever possible.”

“We decided to use sustainable packaging because we did not want to participate in the growing amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. So, the noissue compostable mailers were the perfect solution for us!”

Large online marketplaces have conditioned customers to see free shipping as the norm, making it harder for independent retailers with smaller profit margins to compete:

“The cost of shipping has always been an issue for us. Our goal is to be able to provide free shipping on all orders. However, we have not been able to achieve that goal yet. Shipping costs rise every year, but we strive to keep our retail prices as low as possible. Our profit margins are not nearly as high as companies involved in fast fashion. All of our products are sustainably sourced and printed, which makes our costs higher than many other companies. In turn, we have a thin margin on each shirt sold. Unfortunately, that means we need to charge for shipping.” “

Simply put, we chose noissue because their shipping bags are compostable. They look great, and can be reused for possible returns/exchanges! In addition, we love the Eco Packaging Alliance that we are now part of by purchasing our eco-friendly mailers from noissue. We have received many kind messages from customers telling us how appreciative they are that our mailers are eco-friendly. Consumers are growing more and more environmentally-conscious every day, and we are happy to help facilitate that growth!”