Support the independents

In a world where the media channels are controlled by hidden lizard giants (apparently), sometimes it’s good to lift the lid and understand who’s pulling the strings and what’s actually going on.

Of course, commerce always has an agenda. People need to make money. Trousers don’t grow on trees and we have to pay the bills. Finding the truth behind brands and other companies agendas is interesting. It’s not all a conspiracy, but it’s fascinating to see behind the curtain a little. We try to do that here.

The horror I felt when I discovered my favourite artisan tea brand was actually a brand started by Tetley was real. Deceived.

Viral marketing used to be called word of mouth – but word of mouth requires people to talk to each other face-to-face. Not just post on Facebook. And when Facebook is the most effective way of spreading our message around the world, it’s easy to just pile “marketing budget” into Mark Zuckerberg’s bank account and sit back.

But that’s not really on, as an independent. We have to support the independents.

HebTroCo was started by customers. We had no money, just an idea, and we wanted to see if people liked the idea of supporting British manufacturing. Pitching ourselves into the market for “trousers” against the giants of the world – be that Levi’s £100+ selvedge denim or £8 Asda jeans. Kickstarter helped us get that out there.

We support independent print media. Through advertising in amazing journals like Sideburn Magazine and Greasy Kulture, and supporting independent mountain bike magazines like Singletrackworld and Cranked.

There’s always a choice, and we’re not perfect. But if we’ve chance, and time, and reason, it’s something we try and do.

If you’ve a chance, even just sometimes, take that opportunity. A new local beer, a coffee at a smaller place, a greetings card from an artist, subscribe to the B3ta newsletter, stay in an AirBnB, have a plate of dumplings at the new Tibetan Kitchen (Hebden Bridge’s newest eatery – it’s great).

This’ll be posted on Facebook, and people will point out how hypocritical we are. Because they won’t have read this far. And yes, it was written on a megacorp computer – you’re probably reading it on one too. We’re not traitors. We’re trying. We will always try. Have a go. And kick against the pricks when you can.

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