Shop Small Chambana

Living in a capitalist society means that we speak with our wallets. While taking a trip to the mall can end with an armful of bags and fries from the food court by the end of an afternoon, shopping small and local is way more fulfilling. Many big-name businesses, such as Victoria's Secret, Old Navy, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and many more do not practice ethical business models and treat their laborers terribly. 

The easiest way you can ensure you aren’t feeding into a system where sweat-shop labor or other similar unethical practices are being used is by shopping small and local. Fortunately, Champaign-Urbana has plenty of small businesses that can help you shop ethically and keep you looking sharp! Listed are some of my personal favorites, but there are plenty of outstanding family-owned places to explore in Champaign-Urbana. 

1. Fira Boutique

If you are someone who loves the latest styles - from baggy tees and statement earrings to denim jackets and even scented candles then Fira is the place for you. Just off of campus in Urbana, this is a great local place to stop and buy a gift for a friend, a cute outfit for a night out, or even just to stop in and check out. 

2. Blush 

If you are one of those people who love online shopping but want to support local businesses too, Blush Boutique created by Erica Kennedy of Urbana is an excellent option. Based entirely on social media outlets, Erica runs offers budget-friendly fashion fresh out of Los Angeles for Champaign-Urbana locals through her online outlet. If you have a chance, definitely check her out on Instagram and Facebook for her fresh-finds and surprise discounts. 

3. Bohemia

Beyond being super adorable and aesthetically pleasing, Bohemia in downtown Urbana offers support for not just one local business, but for many other independent creators and local entities as well. From custom-made furniture and jewelry to art and handmade apparel - this is certainly a local shop worth supporting.

4. Apricot Lane

For any of us who have been on Green Street, Apricot Lane has surely caught our eye. The store has an amazing jewelry display dangling off of their centerpiece - a little tree. This creative element only further defines the creative styles offered in the rest of the store. From items that change with the seasons to offer the best looks year-round, Apricot Lane is one of my personal favorites when it comes to local shopping. 

5. Dandelion Retro 

If you’re someone who appreciated timeless statement items and loves a good vintage find, then Dandelion Retro is going to be your new go-to when it comes to local shopping. Located in Champaign, this little shop is packed with unique items that will leave your style individualized but still on-trend. From hats and purses to high-waisted jeans, this is the place to be. 

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