Public urged to beat economic blues by shopping ‘fair’ in Edinburgh

Green campaigners have urged shoppers to back green and social business as a way of blasting the economic blues.

On the eve of the city’s first Green Fair in Tollcross (Saturday 7 February 2009), Greens have reacted to concerns that local businesses are losing out as big companies muscle in on a shrinking market.  So the fair has been specifically organised to put local business and green organisations first and to celebrate their role in our neighbourhoods.

Organisers say that they have been overwhelmed with demand for stalls.  Among those taking part are organic food producers, local craftspeople, fair trade retailers, car-sharing organisations and groups promoting local green spaces; as well as well-known campaign groups.

Green councillor for Meadows and Morningside, Alison Johnstone said:

It has been estimated that Scotland is losing 200 local shops each year.  These shops are the lifeblood of many of our neighbourhoods and give them distinctive character.  Yet, in the current economic climate, many small businesses face extra challenges as the big international companies seek to lure customers away.

That is why this fair is such a great idea.  It is mainly a fun day out, with colourful and exciting stalls.  But it also has a serious purpose of promoting local businesses and groups who are committed to a greener, fairer future for Edinburgh.  The overwhelming success of ventures like farmers markets shows that there is real public appetite for shopping with a bit of heart added back in.

So I hope that the public sees the fair as a chance to shop fair too.

The Green Fair takes place from 10.30am to 3.00pm at Barclay Church Hall, Barclay Place, just off Bruntsfield Place on Saturday 7 February.  Entry for members of the public is free.