Today is Black Friday but we are not here to join the fad and tell you that we’re slashing prices.
We are proud to sell sustainable products that give back to the planet and to charity.
So instead of looking for a bargain this Black Friday, look for a deal that suits the planet!
Today, across the globe, brands will be targeting consumers. Ads filled with promises of freebies, discounts and one-of-a-kind bargains will be filling your email inboxes, television screens and social media feeds.
However, whilst it may feel like Black Friday is for the masses, there is another argument going on and we’re here for it.
Where did Black Friday come from?
It is believed that the term Black Friday originated in America in the ‘50s. On the Friday following Thanksgiving, ‘the Philadelphia Police Department used the term to describe the traffic jams and crowding of retail stores’. It was a relentless day of shoplifting, riots and congestion and all in the name of mass consumerism.
Employees were dishevelled. ‘“Friday-after-Thanksgiving-itis” is a disease second only to the bubonic plague in its effects. At least that’s the feeling of those who have to get production out, when “Black Friday” comes along’.
By the 1980’s, this once dreaded and disastrous day was rebranded. ‘Retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively on them and their customers.’ Hence the Black Friday we have today: a day dedicated to discounts and bargains just before Christmas.
Let’s look at the facts
To put it simply, this day dedicated to slashing prices and mass production of cheap goods, is awful for the environment.
According to ethical consumer, ‘the type of unsustainable consumption promoted on Black Friday puts a strain on resources and is devastating for our planet.’ The day encourages cheap, poor-quality production meaning that goods are not only produced in substandard conditions but will likely end up in landfill in the following months.
What’s more, ‘the companies that are most likely to profit from slashed prices are giant corporations’ like Amazon, not local, small and ethical businesses.
Something needs to change.
Say no to Black Friday
Across the country, businesses are taking a stand and refusing to let Black Friday reduce the quality, authenticity or ethical nature of their products. In fact, ‘85% of independent retailers are refusing to participate in the Black Friday sales this year. Some of the independent retailers will be shutting down their websites for the day, or donating some profits from sales <...> - one thing they won’t be doing is cutting prices.'
In Cornwall alone (where 3 members of our Retrospecced team are based) two large companies have voiced their anti black friday opinions.
The first of which is Newquay based clothing company Celtic & Co. who are ‘hoping to stand for sustainable 'slow fashion' - as opposed to throw-away so-called fast fashion.’ They are proud of the high quality products they make and they do not intend to charge any less for the service they offer.
‘“Instead of offering big, out of the norm discounts that completely undermine the quality and care that went into the making of our garments and disrespect the people who made them, we have decided to donate £1 from each order on Black Friday to charity.’
This strive to avoid mainstream events that are rife with ‘aggressive marketing' is catching on. Finisterre - a clothing company based in St Agnes - are also turning their back on Black Friday. However, they are making it blue.
They have ‘pledged to donate a large portion of sales from Friday 26th November to directly support ocean conservation initiatives’ instead of discounting their sustainable products.
What about Retrospecced?
We at Retrospecced plan to keep doing what we set out to do. We are proud of our business model and the sustainable products we sell. Therefore, we will not be slashing prices, reducing the quality of our service or altering the ways in which we operate to meet the demands of a highly competitive and consumerist event like Black Friday.
We sell beautiful spectacles that would otherwise go in landfill. What's more, we give 20% of profit to vision charities across the world. These are fundamental aspects of our business and are the reason that Retrospecced exists.