When we started Little Local in 2017, we had two main objectives –
- We would do things that create livelihood for rural communities
- We would do this by bringing urban and rural communities together, to create fun and cherishable experiences, in a way that enabled respect, empathy and learning for both groups.
We focused mainly on community-based travel experiences, through homestays and local experiences around culture and conservation. We spent some precious times in remote Himalayan villages, living with the local community in their homes, learning about their biodiversity, and partaking in their local culture, food and customs.
Many of our travellers developed deep bonds with their hosts and continued to stay friends, much after their travels. They exchanged stories, ideas and skill sets Many of them returned to the mountains, time and again.
After COVID, we realized that travel was likely to be affected for some time to come. It was difficult to predict how long that would be. And we started thinking of ways where we could continue to focus on rural livelihood through urban-rural engagement, and projects that could potentially reduce their dependence on travel & tourism.
We spoke to our partners and learnt that market access has always been a challenge for rural groups. They have trouble reaching you and showcasing their products to a wide audience in urban India. These rural groups have genuinely high quality products but most of their sales are either dependent on traders (very low margins) or travellers (highly seasonal and erratic).
At the same time, we as consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious about the origin and impact of their purchases. Many of us care deeply about buying fair trade, and being sure of where our products come from, or the communities that made/ grew them.
We felt there was a need to build an online platform for food and craft products, sold directly by rural farmers, artisans and micro-enterprises.
Products that are –
- Completely authentic, local and of best quality.
- 100% traceable to the growers and makers.
- Sold directly by rural communities, leading to a better supply chain and higher income for them.
- And curated to showcase only the most trusted, credible partners and communities.
When you get products that are all-natural, handmade, ethically produced and of great quality, while rural communities get a fair compensation by selling their products directly to you, it’s a win-win for all of us.
This is how our journey at Little Local began. Thank you for being with us so far, we are truly grateful and we look forward to your love and support as we make more memories and cross more milestones along the way.