Black Friday is a phenomenon that has grown in the UK over the years. Originating in the US as day of discounts following Thanksgiving, in the past ten years the phenomenon has travelled across the Atlantic and reached our shores, bringing with it a frenzied build up every year, and more and more excessive deals and discounts. However this year has seen a rise in brands such as Christopher Raeburn boycotting the sales, and closing altogether on Friday 27th to make a stand against the consumer culture that Black Friday endorses. More than 300 clothing brands are asking and encouraging shoppers not to buy anything in the Black Friday sales for environmental reasons.

The Make Friday Green Again collective says discount deals encourage people to purchase things they don’t need. They say this “overproduction” contributes to climate change. Instead, it wants shoppers to spend the 27th November this year looking in their wardrobes at what items they can repair, sell or recycle. But the British Retail Consortium argued the day allowed consumers to buy products they might not otherwise be able to afford[1].

 

British fashion brand, Christopher Raeburn, released this statement in response to Black Friday:

“In a world of overconsumption and fast fashion, one of the most radical things we can do is to keep our clothes in use for as long as possible. As such, we will be closing our stores this Black Friday 29th November, and opening our doors for creativity. We’re inviting you to the RÆBURN Lab and offering you the chance to benefit from free on-the-spot alterations for a garment. Be it RÆBURN or ANY OTHER BRAND, we can repair and enhance existing product to give it a new lease of life. Join us in taking a stance. Buy Nothing. Repair Something.”[2]

The scale of the shopping frenzy has grown significantly since online shopping became the new norm; average weekly internet sales almost tripled between November 2010 and 2017[3].

But why does this day of spending have such an impact on the environment?

Eco-Age, a sustainably consultancy for fashion and lifestyle brands, reported ‘In 2018, 82,000 diesel vans and trucks took to UK roads to deliver Black Friday and Cyber Monday orders from online shoppers; concerns about spikes in air pollution and fuel consumption were raised by health and environmental professionals. With textile production contributing more towards climate change than international aviation and shopping combined, it’s not just a matter of how you buy but what you buy.’[4]

Many brands put the push for sales during the ‘golden quarter’ at the forefront of their minds, and neglect the environmental impact that these excessive sales are having. Especially in the fashion industry, short lead times and the need for large volumes of stock to land in consumer’s laps as quickly as possible mean that the sustainability of methods and materials used to achieve this may be compromised.

At Bags of EthicsTM we believe in putting our ethical and sustainable practices at the forefront of our manufacturing process. We don’t believe in cutting corners, and will make sure that time and effort is put into creating products that benefit the plant, not harm it. We encourage consumers this black Friday to really think before they purchase. Don’t buy into deals for the sake of it, consider if you

actually need to make a purchase, and think about the environmental impact that your spending may be having. Choose to reuse and repurpose, over mindless purchasing, and if you absolutely need to buy into the black Friday antics, then consider the ethical and sustainable credentials of the brand for the sake of our planet.

For more tips on how to stay sustainable during upcoming events and holidays such as Black Friday, follow us on Instagram @bagsofethics.

[1] BBC News

[2] Christopher Raeburn

[3] Eco-Age

[4] Eco-Age

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