Story by Kathleen Smiley.
Cover photo by Janet Davie.
Great companies give back; they put energy into cultivating relationships and establishing a framework to immerse themselves within the community. Inspired by growth and achievement, Local Laundry is passionate about representing neighbourhood love and building relationships with local businesses and entrepreneurs alike.
If you take a look at Calgary’s local scene, it’s clear to see that local loves local. Whether it’s a growing trend or a response to Calgary’s economic state, many local small businesses have emerged within the past two years.
Local Laundry is one of those companies. Local Laundry sells a variety of clothing items that include hats, shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies with Calgary’s infamous airport code “YYC” plastered across the front. With merchandise speaking directly to Calgary residents, Local Laundry sells apparel built on the idea that Calgarians are proud of where they come from.
“We’re fortunate to be in a great city that celebrates local businesses and loves to give back,” enthuses Dustin Paisley, co-owner of Local Laundry.
“Our values really reflect the values of the culture in YYC. At the end of the day, if we aren’t making a real impact, what’s the point? We’re so lucky to get to work with so many incredible organizations doing really great work.”
Local Laundry’s inspiration is derived from the pride Calgary residents have in their neighbourhoods and communities.
Not only is Local Laundry a leader in creating apparel that is a reflection of local spirit, they also want to funnel their success back into the community.
One of the unique aspects of Local Laundry is that 10 per cent of sales goes back into the community through a donation to a local charity or cause chosen by their customers.
A homage to the city we love, Local Laundry continues to support helping local charities and causes thrive.
“We didn’t decide to give back 10 per cent because we wanted to say ‘hey everyone, come see how great of a company we are’, we wanted to give 10 per cent of our profits back to local causes because it’s the right thing to do. It’s a great way to give back and build the community which we are representing,” explains Connor Curran, co-owner of Local Laundry.
Part of Local Laundry’s mission is to donate more than one million dollars to charities across Canada. The ever-growing list of recipients include Calgary Drop In-Centre, The Calgary Food Bank, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
As Local Laundry continues to expand into neighbouring cities like Lethbridge and Edmonton, as well as with the launch of its “CAD” line, it’s looking to capture the attention of Instagram followers and bring a different perspective to its apparel and brand.
However, even with recent expansion, it’s noticeable that businesses in Calgary are emerging all over the place. More locally driven apparel companies have accumulated within Calgary’s entrepreneurial scene.
Could it be a response to the economic downturn, or an answer to the new landscape for Calgary residents and business owners? Or are people finding the courage to pursue their passion projects? Could it perhaps be “D”, all of the above?
People are in search of experiencing significant moments; people are acting bolder and evolving into opportunists, and instead of ignoring their dreams, they’re chasing after them.
Local Laundry has created, most likely unbeknownst to them, a community unto itself.
With recent efforts rooted in collaboration, Local Laundry wants to work alongside local entrepreneurs and passionate people in Calgary.
Collaboration is rooted in innovative ways around competition. Believing in relationships over rivalry, Local Laundry is proposing creative alternatives by leveraging social media exposure, photo shoots and guest blog features. Whether it’s collaborating with photographers, models, beauty experts, bloggers, passionate business owners or other local entrepreneurs, Local Laundry is finding ways to contribute to their vision.
The focus during collaborations is to change the perspective of onlookers, therefore finding subtle ways to nonchalantly display their signature YYC design.
One of Local Laundry’s most recent collaborations was with Kindred Thrift. Owner Rita Michaud brought in two models and put together three outfits, combing Kindred Thrift and Local Laundry pieces. The collaboration showcased the versatility of Local Laundry’s apparel, and gave exposure to Kindred Thrift, showcasing pieces from their inventory line.
The incorporation of both companies and various individuals allowed for multiple channels of social media based acknowledgement. Leveraging social media through collaborations allows for all participating parties to tap into new audiences and resources, as well create more relationships and strengthen its online following.
Collaboration is the new networking, and is driven not by sales, but by relationships. Acquiring relationships adds to a network of resources and aids in creating and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit.
It also reveals a myriad of perspectives and ways to bring visibility to both brands partaking in the collaboration. Strengthening relationships between local companies influences audience’s reception and cultivates more fans, followers, and customers for each business.
Local Laundry continues to grow and get closer to their goal of donating over one million dollars to charities and continues to collaborate, meanwhile giving their customers a sense of community pride and belonging.