Did you know we spend £10 billion around Black Friday in the UK each year? Most of the ‘discounts’ just encourage us to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, on a holiday we didn’t celebrate until a few years ago. However there are a few brands that go above and beyond the discount strategy to use their consumer appeal to give back, do more or highlight environmental issues.
Read on to discover what some of our favourite brands are doing.
7 brands who are giving back this Black Friday
There’s a new charity app on the block. Buengo, allows people to buy items for charities through an online marketplace, such as a prosthetic leg for an amputee in Africa or a sleeping bag for a homeless person and the amount spent is transferred to the charity. There are over 70 charities listed on the app.
You can also post things for sale, like Ebay or Facebook Marketplace but the revenue goes to charity of your choice instead or you pocketing the cash.
Fela Hughes, Co-founder and CEO of Buengo said: “The buzz you get from buying something truly life changing is so much better than the short-lived retail happiness people are used to from Black Friday purchases. We want to empower people to give back this Black Friday, rather than giving in to consumerism and buying things they don’t really need.”
Pukka Herbs is donating 100% of online sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to planting trees all over the world through TreeSisters. TreeSisters is a charity that currently plants over two million trees every year globally – across eight varied tropical ecosystems – supporting restoration through reforestation.
According to the World Resource Institute, we’re currently destroying over 14 million trees a day. The last two years showed the highest rates of deforestation on record with three million hectares of rainforest lost last year alone.
Click here for more reasons why we all need to plant more trees.
Tapping into a year of protest and positive action, Patagonia is asking its stores and customers to TAKE ACTION TODAY on or around Black Friday. Often cited as a pioneer of doing something revolutionary, Patagonia this year is using its store fronts and physical space to support different NGOs and encourage consumers to turn activist.
Its stores in Manchester and Dublin will support local chapters of Friends of the Earth, while Milan will support the Free Rivers Coalition and Chamonix in France will take up the issue of organic farming. To find out more head here.
Each year online sustainable shop, Ethical Superstore, uses Black Friday to donate food to local food banks. This year it will be donating grocery items to the Newcastle West End Foodbank with every order over £30 – and to make that easier there’s 20% off instore until 23.59 Tues 27 November.
Sustainable shoe brand Po-Zu is calling for consumers to support a Green Friday instead of a Black one. So what does that mean? It means rejecting fast fashion, embracing slow and ethical companies and using the power in your pocket to do good.
According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if the fashion industry continues its’ current trajectory, it will be responsible for 25% global carbon emissions by 2050 and 22 million tonnes of microfibre pollution alongside huge mountains of non-recycled post-consumer waste.
Sven Segal, founder of Po-Zu says: “We want our customers to recognise the power they have to change these practices and halt the damage fast fashion is doing to our planet today, simply by mending what you have, supporting ethical brands, and helping to spread the word.”
Cult ethical clothing label, Rei, always closes its stores on Black Friday. This year is no different. The brand uses hashtag #OptOutside (which has been used more than 10.5 million times) to encourage people to spend the American holiday outside spending nothing rather than buying stuff they don’t need. These includes their staff, who are paid for the day off.
Sustainable, slow, Swedish menswear brand Asket is also shutting down its online shop for Black Friday in favour of a Garment Care Portal. It hopes to encourage its shoppers to learn about how we take care, and mend, our clothes rather than buying more than we really need. In Stockholm this weekend? Asket is also running a ‘Clothing Spa and Repair Showroom’ (Dalagatan 27), where they will help mend clothes from any brand.
“Garment care is something of a lost art. We’ve become used to replacing instead of repairing. Many people, myself included, don’t even know how to attach a button these days. While we do our very best to create garments that are – in every aspect – made to last, educating on how to actually care for them and thereby prolong their lifetime is just as integral to our mission of slowing down consumption. By extending the life of a garment by just 9 months, you reduce the environmental impact by one third.” says Jakob Dworsky, co-founder of Asket.