The 25th of November celebrates the largest global shopping holiday across the globe, Black Friday. The term ‘Black Friday’ first originated in the USA to describe the flood of traffic and busy crowds following Thanksgiving. However, in today’s day and age Black Friday has become a day of shopping frenzy, with retailers offering up their most mouth-watering deals to consumers kickstarting their Christmas shopping.
Despite the mass popularity of this now consumerist holiday, many organisations’ attitudes towards the morality of the day are now beginning to shift. Black Friday has, for many years, played an important role in retailers marketing strategies. However, with global attitudes towards sustainability and environmental awareness now gaining importance, a lot of companies are now having to rethink their involvement with the profit-driven holiday.
Each year, more and more brands are taking a stand against Black Friday, claiming the holiday is damaging the planet through the mass overconsumption of high street bargains, which often end up in landfill. The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) last year reported the highest number of retailers boycotting Black Friday, with 85% of independent retailers reported to have not taken part. This was seen as a movement against global e-commerce powerhouse Amazon, which has been ongoing since the Covid-19 pandemic.
From donating a % of profits to charity or running a campaign against the day of discounts, there are several initiatives various businesses are taking to tackle the popularity of Black Friday Sales. Here are some of the best 2022 anti-Black Friday initiatives.
Ikea: Green Friday
Ikea is one of the largest organisations going against this year’s Black Friday, instead encouraging sustainable shopping through their ‘Green Friday’ scheme. The idea of this campaign is to motivate consumers to re-sell their no longer wanted furniture back to Ikea, and in return they will receive an additional 50% off their next purchase. Customers can return furniture no matter how old to inspire a sustainable attitude towards shopping this festive period. Since establishing the scheme 18 months ago, the multinational ready-to-assemble furniture corporation has provided over 51,000 pieces of re-purposed furniture to people across the UK.
Patagonia: Repairing What We Own
Popular outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is also focused on changing the perception of the deep discount day. The American apparel company is focused on the sustainability of clothes by offering the following four services this black Friday:
- Care & Repairs – learning how to repair what we already own
- Shop Used – buying used items to keep out of landfill
- Buy Quality – purchasing high-quality clothing that can be worn for many years
- Give Back – Donate your time, money or skills to issues that you care about
Visit the Patagonia website to see their previous Black Friday campaigns.
Armani Beauty: Blue Friday
In 2010, Giorgio Armani developed its Acqua for Life initiative aimed towards providing drinking water to areas where access to fresh clean water is scarce. Each year, Armani transforms Black Friday into Blue Friday, a five-day long campaign that involves giving a 30% donation to the Acqua for Life initiative from every purchase made on the Armani beauty website.
These are just some of the many examples of brands acting against Black Friday. Both overproduction and overconsumption across various industries are major contributors to the increasingly worrying issue of global warming. Concerns around society’s impact on the planet will only increase, which will galvanise more organisations to boycott Black Friday.