Only one week till Black Friday, the biggest consumer feast of the year, kicks off.
Did you know that last year, UK consumers spent an estimated £5,5 billion on Black Friday buying everything from fashion to tech and beauty? This year the spend is estimated to be even higher at £6 billion.
While Black Friday is seen by many in the sustainable community as irresponsible overconsumption, there is also some good in it. It is a way for people on lower income to be able to buy bigger Christmas presents for their loved ones and get more value for their money on things they have been saving up for.
And this is the key: Black Friday CAN be a good thing if you only buy a few things that you truly need or things that you or your loved ones have been wanting for a long time. Purchases that genuinely make you happy and last long.
Unfortunately, Black Friday often turns into a shopping frenzy. It’s as if the X% off signs trigger a need that doesn’t exist, leaving people to buy all sorts of stuff that will end up sitting unused in a cupboard.
And this is of course exactly what the businesses participating in Black Friday are after: getting consumers to buy more than they need in a bid to increase their profits.
WHY WE CELEBRATE GREEN FRIDAY INSTEAD
It is important on this day to remember that there are people and valuable natural resources behind every single product made. Water, energy, animals, workers and nature; all or most of these have been impacted by the production of each individual product. The retail price may be low, yet the price they pay is high.
A lot of the products are bought in bulk specifically with a Black Friday promotion in mind, and it is not uncommon for big brands to negotiate lower cost prices with their suppliers in order to protect their own profit margins. Someone else along the supply chain will take the hit…
This is why we, VILDNIS, celebrate Green Friday instead. Rather than encouraging overconsumption and driving prices down to unhealthy levels, we believe that the best way forward to fight climate change and inequality is realistic prices and responsible consumption levels all year round.
Yes, it is incredibly tough being a small sustainable fashion brand selling goods at full price when all the major brands are discounting their collections heavily. However, what we lack in lost sales, we gain in feel good vibes.
WHY YOU SHOULD CELEBRATE GREEN FRIDAY TOO
Changes in consumer behaviour are the biggest drivers for change.
By celebrating Green Friday and minimising our Black Friday purchases, we are showing the heavily discounting retailers that we prefer their prices to reflect the true value of their products year-round. And that people and the planet mean more to us than stuff we don’t need.
Minimising is the key word here. As mentioned above, I appreciate that there are times when shopping on Black Friday makes sense. Personally, I am hoping to find a good deal on a laptop to replace the one I poured a cup of coffee into almost a year ago.
It’s ok. By taking the below steps to shop more responsibly on Black Friday, we can still make a difference and feel good about it;
- Only buy pieces that you genuinely need or that have been on your wish list for a long time
- Write a shopping list beforehand and stick to it
- Choose quality over quantity
- Think long term; buy pieces that you’ll love next season too
Shop responsibly on Black Friday by choosing timeless items that you'll want to wear season after season such as the Najac Boiler Suit.
HOW VILDNIS IS CELEBRATING GREEN FRIDAY THIS YEAR
Often called the ‘lungs of the world’, rainforests are vital when it comes to counterbalancing air pollution and home to many endangered species. We have experienced deforestation first hand and feel incredibly strongly for contributing to the preservation of the rainforests and keeping the planet green.
Green truly is the new Black (Friday)!