Winter Market Arrives at Capilano University

Why shopping locally benefits the CapU community, vendors and the environment

Jayde Atchison // Staff Writer 

Shopping for the winter holidays can be a stressful errand, especially when you consider the social and environmental impact of purchasing gifts. It is suggested to cut down on material gifts to reduce carbon footprints and instead gift experiences. While this is the most sustainable option for the holidays, some people thrive on finding the perfect present for their loved ones. Capilano University is hosting an event that aids conscientious shoppers in finding thoughtful gifts on campus.

On November 27th from 11:00 until 2:30, the lower Birch cafeteria will be home for the annual Winter Market. CapU Works is hosting the event to promote sustainability and buying local crafts, clothing and confections. Up to 25 local vendors will sell their products, and this year’s vendors include at least two current students and an alumna. Handmade jewellery, skincare products, food, arts and crafts and educational tools are some of the items that will be offered.

May Al Taher—designated lead on the Winter Market project—believes students should be interested in buying locally. “It reduces the environmental impact, because locally owned businesses usually make more local purchases so it requires less transportation, and that means less congestion, less habitat loss and less pollution. It also allows us to invest in our own community,” Al Taher said.

The lower mainland has been edging towards a greener holiday through the abundance of Etsy, Make It, and other locally focused markets. The fact that is a free event to attend separates the CapU Works Winter Market from the rest. To further celebrate attendees and sustainable resources, there will be free hot chocolate for all those that attend as long as they bring their own reusable mug. 

The main objective of the market will be to educate attendees about the importance of shopping locally and how to become more environmentally and socially sustainable. Al Taher reminds readers that “wrapping paper is one of the biggest sources of waste during the holiday season.” At the market, CapU Works will be providing a sustainable gift-wrapping station to help give suggestions on how to alter the standard wrapping paper practice.

When people take a chance on local artists and creators, there is a higher chance for better customer service as vendors want to gain constant customers and establish their reputation in their city. When people buy from big corporations, they often do not know where the items were produced, nor who was involved in making them. The vendors at the CapU Winter Market have their items displayed on their table, thus leaving clients satisfied.

Al Taher stressed that there is no pressure to spend any money at the market and anyone who visits the lower cafeteria is able to claim their free hot chocolate and browse the stations. CapU Works will have a booth at the event with the aim to continue the dialogue of sustainable living. They look forward to discussing any questions students and staff may have.

CapU Works is still accepting applications for people hoping to promote their art, crafts, food, or other locally made products. Email for more information. 

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