The Homespun Movement: The ‘Buy Local’ of its Day

women spinning

Up here in Humboldt, there are pins and bumper stickers that urge people to buy local products. While the sentiment has gained popularity over the past decade, it’s one that played a big role in the founding of our nation. This fact that was brought to my attention in the newsletter for the online retailer, Zady, which featured the article Original Fashion Activists: Women of the American Revolution by Sabrina Rojas Weiss.

According to the article, and to other articles on the topic, women during the Revolution spun their own cloth and yarn to protest the taxes imposed by the British (much of which went to support King George III’s whoring son’s debts). Women had spinning bees and pledged their support the Homespun Movement.

The story strikes a chord for me, not just because I’ve recently become a member of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, but also because some of my English ancestors were cloth manufacturers in Yorkshire, a trade which they brought with them when they came to the New World in the 1600s. I’d like to think that my 5th great-grandmother—whose father was a lieutenant in the militia in Vermont and her husband who served in the Massachusetts militia—took part in this protest, though I haven’t found proof to support it.

Why You Should Join Your Local Co-Op and Credit Union

My love affair with co-ops began when I opened my first account at one when I was 9. Later, I worked for that same credit union as a teller. As a young person who was distrustful of anything corporate and big, belonging to a credit union felt like a small way for me to stick it to the man.

Keep your money local.

Keep your money local.

Co-ops are pretty much the bomb—whether you do your banking at one or buy your groceries at one. Our local food Co-op is fantastic and as a family on a budget, they tend to be cheaper than Safeway and the other chain stores. My favorite part is competing with myself each week to see how much money I can spend on local products. Since it’s summertime, buying mostly local produce isn’t a problem. However, I do have to make choices when I buy other things, like bread or tea or even chocolate bars. Even if it costs a few cents extra, I purchase the local product. Buying local keeps money in the community and contributes to a healthier economy, which is vital in an area as small as the one I live in.

Check out this comparison from Yes! Magazine about the statistics of Co-ops:


To find a food co-op near you, try this site: Coop Directory Service.