On Friday 24 November, the world will once again fall under the Black Friday spell. We want to help you avoid the hype, and embrace more conscious consumerism.
3 questions that will help you avoid the Black Friday hype
Originally an American phenomenon, Black Friday and its online cousin Cyber Monday have since spread their tendrils across the globe.
As usual, we’ve been prompted for a good few weeks already to get the early deals and prepare for the hefty discounts. And this year, despite the inflation, “holiday shoppers are expected to spend more,” reports CNBC.
The name Black Friday carries with it many negative connotations, such as crowds of frenzied shoppers pushing, shoving, and injuring each other to grab more stuff they don’t actually need, highlighting one of the ugly sides of (literally) fast fashion.
It’s especially disheartening when you consider that a large proportion of new clothing purchased around the world soon makes its way to landfill. Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for landfill or incineration after an average of only 7 wears. In the US, the EPA has estimated that shoppers throw away at least 13 million tons of clothes each year. In fact, consumers in North America are purchasing (and wasting) fives times as much clothing as they did 25 years ago.
It’s so easy, and so human, to feel some major FOMO when you’re surrounded by messages claiming that you need to take advantage of these amazing deals on items that will make your life better. Give yourself the gift of taking a moment to shift from unconscious to conscious consumer. Before you reach for your wallet, ask yourself these three questions:
1. How much do I already own?
2. How much will I wear it?
3. How long will it last?
After careful consideration, you may find that you don’t really need any new stuff after all. If you do still want to buy new, empower yourself to make ethical choices. Resisting the impulse to buy loads of cheap items in favour of investing in quality pieces not only makes your look more streamlined, it also reduces the amount you consume and spend overall.
Even a gorgeously tailored black dress isn’t worth much to you if you already have 10 just like it. A $15 t-shirt is no bargain if it’s worn out after a few washes. And those jeans on sale aren’t worth $40 if you’ll wear them just twice before consigning them to the back of your closetMarc Bain
Make sure to explore second hand options, and if you need to buy new choose a brand that positively impacts the planet and its inhabitants. You can use the free Good On You app or the directory to check the labour, environment, and animal ratings for over thousands of fashion brands.
Some brands recognise the damage of events like Black Friday on conscious consumerism, and go out of their way to fight against the tide. Here is a selection of eco-initiatives worth supporting:
- Citizen Wolf (“Great”): For the last few years, Citizen Wolf has been running Black Fridye, an annual event aiming to end disposable fashion by hijacking the Black Friday sales/news cycle to make it simple to love your clothes longer by dyeing them black—same dopamine hit with 95% less carbon.
- Ecoalf (“Good”): Ecoalf is committed to not offering Black Friday discounts that could promote impulse buying. Instead, the brand invites you to experience a 3D CGI video that puts into perspective the staggering amount the average person consumes in a lifetime.
- Non (“Great”): UK denim label Non is closing its online store for the day, which it typically does every year, to show its stance against unnecessary consumption during the sales hype season.
- Flamingos’ Life (“Good”): Spanish plant-based shoemaker brand, Flamingos’ Life, will face Black Friday overconsumption by closing its online store on Black Friday. In a globalised world, the brand is joining forces with other responsible brands committed to the salvation of the planet to create a bigger impact and spread the message around the world.
- Free Label (“Good”): On Friday, November 24, Free Label will raise money for BIPOC-owned small businesses and sell raffle tickets with 100% of the proceeds going to the Empowerful Incubator Fund. When you buy a raffle ticket, you’ll be entered to win $1500 in prizes of gift cards from Canadian brands Free Label (“Good”), Londré (“Good”) and more. Last year, Free Label raised $4500 and with their $10,000 contribution, the Free Label community was able to distribute $14,500 to multiple BIPOC small business owners to help grow their brands. This year, their goal is to raise $5000 for a total of $15,000.
- Rapanui (“Good”): While Rapanui has always encouraged you to send back your worn out Rapanui products to be remade through its Remill process to end waste, it is now taking 100% cotton clothing from any brand to be remade into new clothing as an alternative to Black Friday sales. You’ll be rewarded with store credit. “Together, we can make Thread Not Dead.”
- MUD Jeans (“Great”): The Dutch denim brand is turning Black Friday blue by launching its Pre-Loved Denim Platform. As the world’s first circular denim brand, MUD Jeans is taking a stance against overconsumption. This Blue Friday, the brand will be shutring down its online store and introducing its resale platform, powered by MENDED.
- BEEN London (“Good”): This Black Friday, BEEN London will be collecting pre-loved handbags (of any brand) and donating them to Smart Works,a UK charity that gives women the confidence they need to reach their full potential, secure employment and change the trajectory of their lives.
Let’s work together to reduce the impact of the fashion industry by going into this year’s shopping season with a conscience—or even better, avoiding it altogether.