Columbus, Ohio Local T-Shirts: Ohio Loves Local

Spreading the Love of Local with Flair

by Dara Schwartz on November 29, 2011

Gone giddy: the launch of Ohio Loves Local tees
I’m a proud fan of my community and being the local enthusiast that I am, I had designed a local Ohio t-shirt for myself and for friends who shared the local spirit. We soon began to get swarmed at bars and farmer conventions like OEFFA, when wearing the tee out in public. I quickly realized there were others who have gone giddy for local. I decided to go to print and spread the enthusiasm.

The Local Love.
My love for supporting my local community stems from the notion of “knowing where your food comes from.” For years, on every Saturday, I’ve been biking to the North Market Farmers’ Market to pay visit to my farmer friends. As I am usually pedaling late trying to beat the clock of tear down, I hurry to fill my tote with their in-season, fresh produce that they picked within 24 hours. After I overcome my panic of trying to find the farmer who has the last carton of free-range eggs, I join my friends on the back ledge of their produce truck and scarf down a croquette from Kitchen Little, a local food and poultry business located inside the market.

When I buy locally grown food, I not only get the most vitamins and minerals out of every bite to nourish my body, but I am also helping keep our food dollars stay in our regional economy. Currently, less than 1% of our food consumed in Ohio is grown in Ohio. If just 10% of our food spending shifted to our local farmers and producers, we could generate over $4.5 billion for our local economy, keeping our dollars in state. Seems simple, right? Considering Ohioans are already spending over $42 billion on food each year.

Even more, local farmers who sell direct at farmers’ markets or through CSAs, get to keep 80-90 cents of each dollar, which helps reduce distribution and packaging costs, resulting in fresher, more affordable food. And let’s not forget that you reduce your carbon footprint, since locally grown food travels on average 50 miles or less, compared to 1,500 miles to get to your plate.

That’s just food. Expanding that commitment and mindset to local businesses in your community results in a healthy economic impact. According to a 2008 study by the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a 10% shift of consumer spending at local independent businesses could generate an estimated $140 million in that local economy, creating 1,600 new jobs and $50 million in new wages [1].

And for me, it’s also about the personal relationships that are developed. Through every local purchase I make, I get to meet the talent behind it. With that dollar spent comes enthusiasm and passion wrapped up in a bag, and of course, a better quality product. If you hang around long enough, I’m sure you’ll get a good story.

[1] SOURCE via Small Business Beanstalk, LLC. and Civic Economics – “Local Works!” Study, 2008. Commissioned by Local First, Grand Rapids Michigan

Ohio Loves Local tee promotes the commitment and sustainability of local Ohio communities. It spreads the spirit and pride of supporting and strengthening our local economies. The Ohio tee is designed by local Columbus-based artist, Dara Schwartz, and screened by locally owned printer Traxler Tees. Traxler Tees uses and purchases all of their supplies from “made-in-Ohio” and Ohio businesses. Printed on American Apparel tees. For retail locations, ordering and availability, click here.

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