Single’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday: brands that take an active stand against discount holiday shopping to protect people and the environment
„Singles’ Day or Guanggun Jie (Chinese: 光棍节; pinyin: Guānggùn Jié; Wade–Giles: Kuang-kun chieh; literally: “Single Sticks’ Holiday”) is a holiday popular among young Chinese people that celebrate their pride in being single. The date, November 11th (11/11), was chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual who is alone.“
Awwwwww, that’s so cute! But then …
„The holiday has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world …“ (entire quote from Wikipedia).
Especially China’s online retail giant Alibaba drives this development. According to Textilrevue, Alibaba made more than 30 billion US-Dollars on Single’s Day this year (about 5 billion more than last year).
That’s exactly 15 days ago. Black Friday was only three days ago (depending on when you start counting, many outlets started „celebrating“ Black Friday last Monday already). Today is Cyber Monday. And each and every one of these „holidays“ invites us to consume (in peak times, German online retailer Zalando received 4,200 orders per minute, 2,000 more than on last year’s Black Friday).
For different reasons this way of shopping is more and more perceived as difficult:
— It’s confusing for the customer. Why would I buy something for a regular price when I can have it at a discount every other week? In between: retailers and brands are wondering why they’re loosing traffic.
— Consumers loose any notion of what a product is actually worth and the question is who, in the longterm, is paying this price: the brands, the retailers or the people who make the garments?
— It invites us to buy even more stuff we actually do not need.
— In addition to more product that is produced and later, after use, discarded, this kind of shopping means more shipping and returns which has further impact on our environment.
„Claiming to be sustainable and participating in Black Friday promotions is a contradiction in terms“, says Martiene Raven, founder of Raven Collective, an online marketplace for „contemporary womenswear with a conscience“ (and that is for both sides, the producers, brands and retailers as well as the consumers).
Here are a few examples of brands that make an active claim against the Black Friday craziness:
Hund Hund promises to plant two trees for each item that is purchased on their Black Friday weekend.
View this post on Instagram
We've disabled the shop section of our website and closed our pop-up store for Black Friday. We simply cannot continue to consume the way we do. We need to start making considered choices; buying less but better. We're therefore encouraging you to think twice before you make a purchase today. Even small steps will help and it's important we all work together. 🖤♻️⠀ -⠀ #ChristopherRaeburn #BuyNothingDay
Christopher Raeburn has closed down his web shop and pop-up shop for Black Friday.
And at Ullac Denim prices go up 10 per cent from November 23rd until 30th, which they will — according to their newsletter — double and donate to a charity called Warchild UK.
Kudos to everybody who stands up in the name of mankind and our planet and does without the extra cash on Black Friday (or all the other imported holidays that are being commercialised).