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      5 Ways You Can Support Local Businesses In Your Neighborhood

      5 Ways You Can Support Local Businesses In Your Neighborhood

      Support Local Small Businesses In Your Neighborhood B4 They Are Gone...

      By Yashashree Samant

      Small local businesses need our support now more than ever. Small business is defined as having less than 500 employees, which represents 99% of all U.S. businesses. Over a year ago the world came to a standstill due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Streets were no longer bustling with energy, restaurants were without giggling tables, and shops had closed their doors. What we thought would be a week or two of staying indoors has now eclipsed the one year mark, and among many victims that this pandemic has claimed is small businesses. 

      What we also understood during this year is the need and strength of togetherness. A local small business already struggles at each step of the process and with added restrictions that struggle has only surged. So as a community it is now our collective responsibility to support these local businesses, not just for their survival, but for restoring our own economy. As an individual we often question how much we can do, so D.O.B is here to offer some tips on things that can be done by each of us to protect and support local businesses.

      • Talk the Talk - Local and small businesses don’t have multi-million dollar advertising budgets and viral superbowl spots. They depend on their neighborhoods and goodwill to get the word out there about their products and services. As someone who spends hours scrolling on Instagram and sifting through Twitter, you can take a minute to follow these pages, interact with their content, perhaps even give them a quick shout out or a good review about a product purchase. Spreading awareness is always the first step.
      • Walk the Walk - Practice what you preach. Shout-outs and engagement on social media can only go so far. In the end it comes down to actually making the purchase. Try to find small occasions, birthdays, holidays, graduations, or maybe simply a sunday brunch - where instead of ordering delivery from multinational e-commerce websites, you instead support a local neighborhood business. Not only does that earn you brownie points but you can also get unique locally sourced produce instead of products that are available a dime a dozen. 
      • Bargain Not - Unlike the big fat cat companies who have millions of dollars at their disposal, local small businesses have small margins and very little wiggle room when it comes to pricing their goods. But a good product deserves a good price. While we all love finding discounts and hot deals, paying that extra dollar at your local coffee shop or clothing store not only helps support these local businesses but also supports the community as a whole.
      • Lend a Hand - Business owners always need help and consultation, whether it is to click Instagram friendly pictures or legal and taxation consulting on how to maximize profits. No matter what your trade, you can offer some hours of your time to the small business near you without charge and earn some good karma in return. Ask around and be forthcoming, everyone needs a little extra help but can often be too shy to ask. Even just an hour on the weekend helps to support these local businesses more than you can imagine.
      • Be Kind - A virus on the other side of the globe changed the world as we know it. Everything that was considered normal isn’t there anymore, the only way we find our way out of this is by being helpful and generous. Overlook tiny mistakes, go the extra mile, leave a larger tip and offer a kind look to these small businesses. After all, a little goodwill can go a long way.

      At D.O.B we are partnering and supporting the growth of small businesses.


      Local Business Survival Is In Crisis, And It’s Never Been Easier To Support Them.

      Local Business Survival Is In Crisis, And It’s Never Been Easier To Support Them.

      Supporting Local Business in Time of Need

      by Mathura Hawley  

      As we get vaccinated and ready to return to life outside our homes, we must remember the effects of COVID will continue to roll through this year and into years to come.  Small businesses, the lifeblood of our communities, are back to peak levels of closure.  There are no corporate bailouts for Mom and Pop, and when a small business closes there are ripple effects not only on the rest of the local economy, but on the access of marginalized groups to get basic staples, healthcare and hope for the future. 

      There are already so many good reasons to support local business.  For every $100 dollars you spend locally,  $68 stays in the community, vs. $43 from chains.  Local jobs account for 65% of all new jobs consistently for the past 17 years.  Small companies are more directly involved with local charities because the owners and the workers live there.  It’s also important to remember that small businesses leave a dramatically smaller carbon footprint vs. big chains, without the massive overhead costs and shipping waste.  

      COVID forced small businesses to go online and update their ways of shopping and communicating with you.  Search engines now automatically find what you’re looking for closest to you, without the need for more information.  Small businesses are forming cooperatives and collaborations, finding strength in numbers. Limitation caused innovation, and it’s never been easier to get what you need from your own community.

      Even bigger than this, the world is now a network of local communities to which you have access.  You can order online or go in person on your own block, or go online and support a community thousands of miles away.  Yema is a brand whose founders have strong ties to their homelands of Kenya and Ethiopia, both in the authentic designs of their clothing and in the passion and commitment they have to give back.  SOKO is a woman-led, people-first ethical jewelry brand built to connect artisans in Kenya with the global market.  ONE432 is a clothing and footwear company that shares 50% of their net profits from each unit sold between their female artisans and children’s education in Pakistan.

      D.O.B was created with this purpose.  We will give you access to sustainable, inclusive and local brands you may have never heard of.  We will give those brands, their creative designs and their causes access to the D.O.B community, people like you who care about making informed and ethical choices when you shop.  Be part of the change.  Join us. 

      The Evolution Of Streetwear & The Roots Of Its Impact On Fashion

      The Evolution Of Streetwear & The Roots Of Its Impact On Fashion

      The Evolution Of Streetwear & The Roots Of Its Impact On Fashion

      By Yashashree Samant

      When you think about streetwear fashion the mind is instantly transported to the 1970’s. A vintage New York City, yellow cabs running up and down from Radio City, graffiti on subway walls, neon light signs, the sounds of the eclectic mix of R&B and disco that is “urban contemporary” on its way to becoming hip-hop, skaters rushing through the sidewalks and young teenagers dressed up to rebel against the world in their sneakers and hoodies. 

      In the late 70’s streetwear or street fashion was born to counter mainstream fashion and everything it stood for. In order to do so, it rooted itself in sub-cultures which were considered rebellious, like skating, surfing, graffiti art, or hip hop. Artists in these cultures, whether it was Warhol, Basqiat, or hip-hop rappers in Harlem, were questioning accessibility of art to the common man. They wanted their art to be palatable while being exquisite, just like street fashion brands wanted their clothes to be comfortable while being cool. Streetwear was a subgenre of cult fashion and has enjoyed its time as that for decades. 

      Thanks in large to these pop-culture icons, streetwear fashion crossed boundaries and spread across the world. Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, and every other fashion capital of the world was embracing streetwear with their own twist. It wasn’t long before high fashion brands began to emulate these styles. By the late 90’s and 2000’s streetwear fashion went from sidewalks to runways. High fashion labels understood that they needed to engage with a new audience and take on identities that were accessible yet luxurious. Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and many others began reinventing themselves. Even fashion stores like Barneys and Bergdorfs which were once reserved for legacy fashion brands began to house niche streetwear brands and clothes. 

      As time progressed, popular musicians like Kanye West, Pharell Williams, and Rihanna began collaborating with brands to launch their own street fashion labels. Moreover they even started referencing these looks in their music videos, thus popularizing it for the masses. Streetwear fashion now was all about being in vogue, while maintaining comfort. They seamlessly merged the codes of luxury with the passion of art. The hype of streetwear never died down as other trends usually do. One of the reasons behind that was the limited production and exclusivity while also being approachable - a quality that brands have maintained since its inception. 

      Streetwear has always cared about protecting its image and its community, and in 2021 what is cool is now also ethical and sustainable. D.O.B has partnered with several companies who’ve taken the first step for the same. Street fashion was built on the basis of inclusivity, and One 432 is a small brand that not only crafts modish apparel but takes inclusion to the next step - by sharing 50% of the net profits from each unit sold with its female artisans and by sponsoring children’s education in Pakistan. Yema is a D.O.B brand with roots in African art and culture, bringing local and inclusive design and storytelling to their apparel, and giving back to the communities that inspire them.

      Streetwear has always provided its followers a connection through fashion and a sense of belonging. It is a representation of the struggles, celebrations and culture of the times. It stands for something. It is a reflection of artists and culture, and it is evolving to reflect our values as well.

      D.O.B is inspired by the streets of our neighborhoods, big and small, in the art, music, and dance of where we live and learn from each other. We are building a community of local and inclusive brands to celebrate and support local culture. Join our journey.

      How To Clean Out Your Closet And Make An Impact On Your Local Community

      How To Clean Out Your Closet And Make An Impact On Your Local Community

      Help Your Local Community by Donating Your Old Clothes

      By Beth Hoad

      It’s that time of year again! The sun is out and it’s time for a closet cleanout. 

      Cleaning out your closet is a stressful job and deciphering where to take items is a daunting experience. You might ask yourself how and why should I choose a certain place to donate items over another? From in-hand donations, charitable thrift shops to take back programs, donating pre-loved clothing helps the environment, and hugely benefits local communities in need.

      Your donation to in-hand nonprofits is directed towards people who are going through hard times. This donation is selective to particular groups of people, like Dress for Success, a nonprofit who asks for professional women’s attire, or New York Cares , who run an autumn coat drive for the homeless. If you’re donating to in-hand nonprofits avoid trendy items and try donating gently used items that the recipient can wear proudly.

      Charitable thrift shops are great options if you have more eccentric items that you no longer need. The most common of these shops are Goodwill or The Salvation Army, but there are local shops too. Like Cure Thrift Shop, which is an eclectic and vibrant shop in NYC, who not only sell quirky and one-of-a-kind pieces, but also supports diabetes research and advocacy. This is where the resale of your donation goes to funding shops services and supporting different organizations like the homeless, arts or LGBTQ rights. It might not seem like much, but these small everyday actions can have a major impact on the local community around you.

      Take Back Programs are the future. Easily donate items that have been piling up in your closet and have them recycled into new materials. You’re contributing to saving the planet, in the coolest way possible. For Days’ vision is to eliminate clothing waste by asking consumers to turn in used clothes, no matter the brand or condition in order to make new clothing. Ready for the best part, they pay you for this service, so could it get any better? Who knew throwing out clothes could be profitable, fun and sustainable.

      The cycle of constantly having to clear our closets may prove that we have too much, but it’s inevitable. Fashion is a form of expression and since bodies change, trends come and go, and wear and tear just happens, it’s important to look into options when cleaning out your closet. However, in no way shape or form should you throw clothes away in bins or just out for trash. On average, consumers throw away 82 pounds of clothing a year, and all that does is sit in landfills and damage the environment. Do you really want to contribute to that?

      There is no reason you should be throwing away clothes anymore, especially since brands will recycle it and nonprofits can use it. It may seem like a small job, but cleaning out your closet can be extremely impactful and resourceful, especially to communities going through tough times. 

      D.O.B believes we can change our future by challenging the way we think about our everyday habits, creating higher goals for sustainability, inclusion and our local communities and realizing the impact our actions can make. 

      Shopping Local In A Global World

      Shopping Local In A Global World

      How to Support Sustainability & Small Businesses

      By Curtis Harding

      What does “local” mean in 2021? Does it encompass our neighborhoods? Metro areas? States? Is it buying produce from the farm in our county, or buying a handmade clock from a shop on Etsy? 

      In an ongoing series, D.O.B will be exploring the meaning of “local” in the modern world. These are questions that couldn’t be more important as the pandemic has driven home the need to support small businesses, even as it’s pushed more of us to shop online in a digitally connected world. 

      When asked why they prefer to shop local, most overwhelmingly say that they want to support their local community and economy. But our communities don’t end at the edge of our towns. We no longer live in a world where we spend our entire lives in the same small area. We move around, find new homes and new communities, collecting bits of identity as we go. 

      While I consider myself a New Yorker, I still have strong ties to the exurban and rural areas I grew up in. And on a more personal level, my community extends to every LGBTQ+ person across the globe. 

      That’s why I just bought handmade jewelry from an online store based in a hometown I haven’t lived in for nearly two decades. And it’s why I’m supporting the push for my LGBTQ+ sports league to shift purchasing our team shirts from the big name apparel brands that we’ve been using since our founding, to an LGBTQ+ brand in our own backyard. 

      Are those both local examples? I would say so. One was a digital purchase made in another state, but my money went to a small business in a town I still care deeply about. The other supports the community that I love in the city that I’ve adopted as my home.  

      At D.O.B, we believe that sustainability, diversity and local support all go hand-in-hand. That’s why we’re proud to support brands like Yema, founded by Yema Khalif, who grew up in Kenya’s Kibera slums, and his partner, Hawi Awash, who was an Ethiopian refugee in Kenya. For them, local support means giving back to their childhood communities, supporting and educating orphaned children in Ethiopia and Kibera. 

      Then there’s ONE432. Growing up, founder Ammar Belal moved between Chicago, Geneva and Lahore, Pakistan, before relocating full time to Pakistan and starting a fashion company. Though he now lives in New York City, Belal wanted ONE432 to be a local business, based in Pakistan, employing Pakistani artisans, and supporting Pakistani children’s education. 

      It’s worth highlighting companies like these because they show us how we can shop local even as we spend globally. We can buy clothes that support children in Eastern Africa or South Asia, or purchase designs that tell stories of African heritage or Pakistani pride. 

      Yes, we can and should still support our favorite stores in our towns and use our money to strengthen the communities that we live in. But we can also support our favorite brands around the world that strengthen the local communities that they and we care about. 

      The digital world hasn’t transformed or destroyed our idea of local businesses. It has expanded it. We’re no longer limited to our own backyards. These days, our spending can have an incredible impact on lives across the globe. We’re now free to go wherever our hearts take us. 

      D.O.B strengthens local communities by supporting small businesses and by sharing stories and experiences that bring us all closer together.

      Follow our series on the evolution of what “Local” means for our future.