Photo by Will Geier
At Local Laundry, you’ll often hear us say that we “build community.” And, if you’ve been listening to us long enough, you’ve likely heard us venture far enough to say that we want to be one of the best companies in the world at building community. This may seem like quite the lofty goal for an apparel brand based out of Calgary, Alberta, but when you place the community at the core of your company, great things can happen. Now, while this all may sound great, we’re often asked the question what does building community even mean? At Local Laundry, we think about this all the time and put it at the forefront of everything that we do. To put it simply, building community is about supporting those around you and giving back to ensure that everyone is moving forward on the right path. As a small business, your community is everyone that your business interacts with: your customers, your suppliers, your staff, other small business and the non-profit organizations you support.
In order to authentically build community, you have to be conscious of how your business affects each and every stakeholder in your community and how you can enhance those relationships so that everyone wins and is better for it. Sometimes that means not taking the easier or cheapest route, but treating each and every member of that community as you would your own family. It means supporting them when they need support, offering help when they ask and giving what you can, and in turn, trusting that they would do the same for you. The strength of your business can also be seen as the strength of your community.
So, how do we build community as a clothing brand? Over the past three years, we’ve carefully crafted our 5 Pillars of Community, which, coincidentally, coexist with our brand values.
- Representing where you come from.
- Sharing Stories from the Community.
- Giving Back.
- Made in Canada.
For Local Laundry, these five pillars have been fundamental to the success and growth of the brand, while creating a lasting impact on the community. It has been our recipe for building community, in addition to building our brand. However, these are simply the five pillars we have chosen, and there’s no one right way to build community; it can come in all shapes and forms. We challenge every business owner to find their own ways to build and subsequently give back to their community.