> posted by   on August 26th 2013
 

GLOCAL* HERO

I’m so happy that we’re coming back to our point of departure. We now understand that outsourcing of all the plants and manufacturing in the past to the Far East was a very big mistake. This “mistake” made us lose the economic power and leading drive, destroying cities and causing unemployment. We made ourselves dependent on other countries’ regime, political moods, language and laws. Products are cheaper but not always of the desired quality and often not even close to the original design.

Unfortunately, the damage that outsourcing often brings to the brand is very difficult to mend.

I truly support all local initiatives that are trying to operate within regional/national communities.

They are my heroes!

One of the interesting initiatives (maybe to copy?) comes from Greensboro, a small city in Alabama in the USA. With 2,497 inhabitants, the city struggles like many others in the region with a declining manufacturing sector and a rising unemployment in the region. A group of young creatives from Bamboo Bike Studio and Hero, a local community organisation, teamed up in a very innovative project (or maybe just a very old idea?) in which high-end bikes were made from bamboo growing on the side of the road.

“We are always looking for materials we can make something from, and neighbours are always complaining about how hard it is to get rid of bamboo,” explains Pamela Dorr, executive director of Hero

The result of the cooperation is a product line called HERObikes. The idea behind it is that you order your bike in DIY components. You have to book a time at the workshop to assemble your bike. The workshop is supervised and equipped with all needed machinery and tools.

DO IT. MAKE IT. REPAIR IT!

Below: HERObike’s team member

*Glocal is a term in which ‘local’ and ‘global’ are put together. In a climate shaped by rapid globalisation and multinational corporations, widespread sameness is evident in any cosmopolitan hub. Conversely, each city has its own local, vernacular traditions, identity and culture. Glocalism is about the merging of these two seemingly opposing forces. Another term with a similar meaning is ‘Neo-localism’. It refers to direct action taken to support local economies, despite the encroachment of global influences. Neo-localism can be an important way to support local businesses that are threatened by larger corporations.

Above definition was inspired by ‘100 Urban Trends’- A Glossary of Ideas from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, New York City 2013’.

 

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