Charity through consumption? Welcome to the capitalism of the 21st century. From an American and increasingly international perspective, this year’s Xmas shopping season begins on November 27. And there is only one month left to shower yourself or (the fictitious) Petra with unmissable bargain gifts.
But what is Black Friday and how did it all begin? Here’s a brief history from SANVT – and how we want to do it better:
Black Friday …
According to Wikipedia, Black Friday always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is the traditional starting signal for the official Xmas shopping season for families in the United States. It’s the penultimate event in a chronological list of consumption-oriented holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Xmas.
Black Friday (which usually extends over the entire weekend) is mainly characterized by discounts. And there is not the “normal” 10-percent-off up for grabs, but ostensibly massive discounts that can reach to 50% or even more. The effect this has on people’s behaviour is shown very clearly by some videos on the worldwide web. And to put some numbers to the commercial importance of Black Friday: 30% of all goods are sold in the United States between Black Friday and Xmas.
… vs. Green Friday
But the commercialization of holidays is not always positive for everyone – especially not for the planet: the less we consume then the less we exploit the environment. Many people make this connection and are buying less. But while individuals can try to make changes, companies have a role to play too by questioning Black Friday and consumer concepts like it.
Change is happening. Some companies do not sell products on Black Friday at all – no matter if a store or online-shop. Patagonia is a famous example of this absention, which has been followed by other brands. Others, however, take a more proactive approach and use the opportunity to promote other less-commercial initiatives. There are plenty of ways that online stores and retailers can take part differently and ‘Green Friday’ has started to become popular over recent years as a counterpoint to Black Friday.
Green Friday is a parallel event that promotes mindful shopping: retailers can encourage recycling, shopping local, or even environmental initiatives like tree-planting for items bought instead of discounts. As Friday 27th of November approaches, look out for what’s happening this year – and you could start taking part by asking the following question: Do I really need this? (Chances are quite high that you don’t). If a ‘Yes’ follows, try to shop local and at family-run businesses, in charity shops or even ask friends if they have something similar that you could borrow.
But mindful shopping should not only be linked to one specific day. It should be a basic idea that’s behind buying and selling – all year long. At SANVT, we’re still not perfect but we try to be as sustainable as we can:
SANVT x Sustainability
…all year long:
One collection, timeless classics
We are climate neutral – thanks to ClimatePartner
We work exclusively with certified production partners in Western Europe
We will only use natural and biodegradable fiber
We recycle 99.9% of all waste water
Our packaging is 100% plastic free
If you want to find out more about our philosophy and our commitment to sustainability, you can find out all about it here.