"The way that online shopping has been developed, it’s made for large corporate retail, not small, local businesses. It wasn’t made to make it easy to buy a jacket five miles away; it was made to make it easy to buy a bottom-of-the-barrel jacket in a warehouse on the other side of the world," said Jonathan Sandals, founder of Sook, a browser extension that suggests local alternatives when you shop from big online retailers. The tool is located in the top-right corner of your browser. When you click on one of its categories, such as "dresses & jumpsuits" or "home & garden", it will show items for sale sorted by price or distance from you. Sandals built Sook in 2019 for the Seattle area. In August 2020, it launched in 20 American cities and is now piloting in Canada. "The way these e-commerce tools are set up for small businesses is completely broken,” he says. “Business owners are told that all they need to do is set up a Shopify or Squarespace account and then SEO and social media will start sending customers their way. But they’re competing on the same ground as Amazon or Nordstrom who have gigantic teams whose whole jobs are SEO and social.” With his tool, people are more able to support local businesses that offer a more eco-friendly alternative to online shopping.

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