Suzie Galwey lives in Newcastle with her husband, two children, dog and cat. She runs after-school creative writing workshops for kids and cares about building strong local communities.
Which shopping related ethical issues are most important to you?
Being from a regional centre I believe in supporting local businesses and producers as much as I can. We live near the Newcastle city centre which is undergoing a massive change as the big chain retailers have moved into the suburban shopping centres and small enterprises are gradually springing up in their wake. Purchasing locally makes sense environmentally and I hope it will help my community thrive.
How do you act on these ethical concerns in practice?
It helps that I don’t enjoy shopping centres – they make my head spin. I much prefer the experience of exploring local shops thanks to initiatives like Renew Newcastle, which gives local artists access to vacant retail space in the city. I also love shopping at our local growers markets on Sunday.
I am far from perfect and my best intentions often come up against the hard realities of a busy life and cost pressure. I admit I am susceptible to the online bargain. It is great to see more and more websites springing up that are providing sales channels for collectives of small regional businesses.
What’s your best buying tip for other people who care about this?
When you shop locally, take the time to talk to the person who grew, sourced or made the product. It makes it mean more and taste better if you know the story behind it!
Tell us about a product you can’t live without?
Aside from coffee, on these chilly winter mornings I would have to say my Ugg boots are my best friend. My husband’s family has a Corriedale sheep stud so pure wool is a must.
Where would our readers be most likely to find you at 10 am on Saturday morning?
Usually I am on the sideline at one of the kids sporting matches. However the first Saturday of each month you will find me meandering through the awesome Olive Tree Markets which showcase talented local artisans of all descriptions. A great spot to pick up unique handmade items, tasty food and a good coffee. My idea of a perfect shopping experience.