Shopping at the Florence leather market is no longer considered "supporting local" or in other words, supporting the ancient traditions of leather work, because the leather goods sold there are not locally produced or even sourced. The leather goods sold at the market can be found throughout Florence, in different shops and tables at the market, they are not made by local artisans or craftsmen and instead, are mass-produced and imported from other regions or even other countries. These items are not even be made with Italian leather, despite being sold in Italy.
To truly support the local economy and artisans, it's essential to look for authentic, locally-produced leather goods. Seek out small, independent shops or workshops that promote traditional craftsmanship and use locally sourced materials. These shops offer higher quality products with a more genuine connection to the region's culture and heritage. They won't have the same bags piled from floor to ceiling or be selling them in outdoor markets.
By purchasing directly from local artisans or small businesses, you can help sustain traditional craftsmanship, preserve cultural heritage, and contribute more directly to the local economy. So, while shopping at the Florence leather market can be a fun experience while walking sightseeing, it's not synonymous with buying high quality, 'made in Italy' leather bags.