Thinking global, buying local

Authors: Kate Savin, Jece Shunmugam, Jack Maycock
  • Reading time: 5 min.
  • Posted on: November 3, 2020

Read on for a handpicked selection of the good, the bad and the place to shop in the world of social impact communications. This week, we’re highlighting the world’s first Black queer travel guide, Google’s questionable drive to shop local, and a brilliant new alternative to Amazon. 

| NAILED IT:  The first Black queer travel guide

Paula Akpan, the journalist and historian whose work explores the experiences of Black queer women in the UK, is crowdfunding to create an online Black Queer Travel Guide.

For Paula, travelling abroad is not as easy as picking a destination and going there. Before travelling, she must eliminate places where she could encounter anti-Black discrimination, or where being openly queer comes with a prison sentence. 

Since 2019, Paula has been working on providing Black queer travel resources. Now, she wants to develop a web app that encompasses everything a Black queer traveller must consider when travelling. Her crowdfunding will fund web developers, enable commissioning from Black queer writers, and help build a team of global ambassadors.

You can support or share Paula’s crowdfunder here.

| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Right message, but no substance from Google

Google has tapped into the recent public mood with its new advertising campaign, #DearLocal. Unfortunately, an advertising campaign is all it is. 

#DearLocal sees Anthony Joshua call on the British public to support local businesses by leaving a Google review. However, this campaign doesn’t include any actions from Google themselves. With a search engine monopoly that is unquestionably geared towards the big businesses who can afford Google’s steep advertising costs, there are countless actions that Google themselves could have taken to run alongside this campaign. 

Cheaper advertising rates or Google advertising tutorials for small businesses designed to help reach local audiences, are just two tangible actions that would be more impactful for local businesses across the country.

| WHERE TO BUY: Bookshop: Amazon, but better

A socially conscious contender to Amazon has reached the UK’s shores just in time for lockdown.

Launching today, is a one-stop-shop for all the books you’ll need to get through winter, at a discounted price. So far, so Amazon. The difference is that their website works as a platform for independent bookshops, so you can browse curated lists and order online but still spend in your local. Participating bookshops receive the full profit margin (30% of the cover price) as they would for an in-store purchase, and you get your books within three working days. 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has seen an 80% increase in his personal wealth since the pandemic. He doesn’t need your money – your local bookshops do.