Thoughts on Black Friday
It’s that time of year again. Christmas is approaching and Black Friday seems like the perfect occasion to purchase gifts. Originally from the United States, the tradition of Black Friday has taken hold in many countries across the world, including here in Italy. And while this week of tempting sales and discounts might sound terribly attractive, we wanted to share our thoughts on Black Friday and explain why it is against our philosophy to participate.
Black Friday is harmful to the environment
It might not be obvious at first, but the environment takes significant collateral damage during this time of year. Discounted items and apparel fuel the desire for shoppers to refresh their wardrobe and discard old clothing items. Many of them end up adding to heaps of textile waste in our landfills. Globally, 80 billion new articles of clothing are purchased a year, most of which end up in landfills. And according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every single second. It is no secret that overproduction and overconsumption are directly linked to the current climate crisis, and that the fashion industry’s contribution to it is only projected to rise.
Black Friday reflects the true cost of fashion
Black Friday also reveals the true cost of fast fashion. Don’t be fooled; brands do not discount their items to sell below their real cost. If an item can be discounted up to 70% by a brand, it means that the majority of its original cost was markup in the first place. But where costs have been cut, someone else has had to pay the price.
That same brand will have produced that garment by using cheap labor (meaning poor labour conditions for garment workers) and by using mass-produced, low-quality fabrics. With constant pressure to produce new styles and drive prices down, the supply chains of fast fashion brands often lead to garment workers suffering under inhumane working conditions, with low pay and excessively long hours, and many of these brands have been found to be cutting costs through child labour or modern slavery.
On the contrary, our prices reflect the true value behind each piece of clothes: we have smaller margins, higher costs and we just cannot (and don’t want to) compete with fast fashion retailers. Our prices are fair all year long and allow us to pay our seamstresses fairly, choose the best fabrics, and grow our business.
A few words on conscious spending and consumerism
There is nothing wrong with saving money to buy something that you need by waiting for it to go on sale. But when it comes to shoes and clothes, of which our consumption has doubled in the past 15 years, it's worth taking a second look at whether you really need it. While sales can be tempting and offer incredibly good deals on various products, a lot of consumers end up regretting many of the purchases they make on Black Friday. So before putting 10 items in your shopping cart, maybe think twice and buy what you really need or have been wanted for a long time, rather than an impulse buy.
By keeping production minimal and designing classic, timeless pieces, we are able to eliminate waste and create beautiful designs that are made to last for a long time. We believe that Black Friday is the antithesis to conscious consumption: it encourages quick, frequent, and often thoughtless spending that does not make us happier in the long run. We believe a different type of fashion is possible and we are proud to produce every piece with intention and love. We could not have made it this far without our incredible customers who love sustainable fashion and the planet as much as we do.
Does it mean I shouldn't take part in Black Friday at all?
We understand that many people do not mindlessly consume on Black Friday but rather wait for a good deal! So here are our tips for a conscious and sustainable Black Friday:
* Purchase items you already wanted, not things you didn’t even consider buying until they were steeply discounted!
* Purchase one or two quality pieces as an investment to your wardrobe, rather than many fast fashion items. Remember that loved clothes last in time.
* Avoid impulse buys and think about whether or not you need what you are buying: if you don’t end up using what you purchase, it wasn’t actually a good deal!
Article by Kasmita Mirani.