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No Black Friday, it's Bye Buy Friday

Kim Kim 27 Nov 2020 No Black Friday, it's Bye Buy Friday

On Friday, November 27, it’ll be Black Friday #ByeBuyFriday. This is not a day of massive discounts. On the contrary. It is a day when we ask you to fork over an extra 10%* on your order. ‘Today only, so don't miss your chance!’ Welcome to #ByeBuyFriday, where we stand up against the massive Black Friday sales and bring you truly sensational prices towards a better world.

*Obviously the extra 10% will be donated to a charity that shares our values in the field of fair and more sustainable fashion, inclusivity within the environmental movement, animal rights and anti-racism. Who we’ve chosen to be this campaign’s charity will be announced next week. Moreover, we ourselves will double these extra #ByeBuyFriday proceeds from the 27th November.

Why #ByeBuyFriday?

The damage - both social and environmental - caused by the fast fashion industry in general, and by the extreme and impossibly high discounts that dominate the end of November in particular, is enormous. This is the reason why we now draw attention once again to our society’s impulsive buying behaviour, overproduction and the throwaway culture that characterize this promotional period.

We urge everyone - consumers and companies - to not participate in Black Friday's sales as it is an implicit approval of a world where unrelenting overproduction and exploitation is acceptable. Find more on how this works below.

Instead, this day we invite everyone to buy even less than usual. And if you do buy something, then please do it the #ByeBuyFriday way, as a statement for a vegan, fair and sustainable world.

The impact of fast fashion, Covid-19 and Black Friday in numbers

Some important facts:

  • On average, no fewer than 169 people worked on each piece of clothing that made it into your wardrobe.1 That many people are involved in the production chain: from the production of the raw materials, processing, production, design, distribution to sales and everything in between. If you look at it this way, it is quite unbelievable that you can find an entire winter outfit for 25 euros.
  • These fast fashion prices have encouraged overconsumption with a throwaway culture as a result. The average wardrobe consists of about 173 items, out of which no fewer than 50 haven’t even been worn in the past year.2
  • In fact, on average a fast fashion item is worn only seven (!) times before it is thrown away.3
  • Considering the fact that 1 in 6 people worldwide work in the fashion industry,4 and only an estimated 2% (!) of the workers who make our clothes earn a living wage, it only gets more harrowing.5
  • And the pandemic only seems to amplify these issues. Powerful fashion brands from the US and Europe have refused to pay overseas suppliers for more than $ 16 billion in goods since the Covid-19 outbreak.6 We can only guess how many extra garments from unsold stocks have now ended up in landfills or burned. In low-wage countries, textile workers have been laid off in huge numbers and many factories have gone bankrupt. And the harsh truth is, no matter how unfortunate, unsafe and unhealthy the fashion industry often is - in the poorest countries, millions of people and their families completely depend on it.
  • It does appear that the pandemic may have an inhibiting effect on our buying behaviour around Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. In the UK, the total value of sales in 2018 during these two days came to 8 285 million pounds, an amount that grew to 8 566 million pounds in 2019. However, this year, the total value of sales is estimated to lower until 7 504 million pounds.7
  • Meanwhile, the fashion industry ranks fourth in the list of the most significant negative environmental impacts of our consumption, right after housing, transport and food.8 (Only coming in eighth place in our household expenses.)

6 tips for sustainable shopping

As we always say, buy with compassion. As little as possible. But always vegan, fair and as sustainable as possible. That is a given in today's world. Therefore, in our guide to ethical and sustainable shopping, we give you the (hopefully) well-known advice:

  1. Buy less, only when you really need something, and you know for sure that you will wear it for years to come.
  2. If you do choose to buy something new, choose a brand that breathes ethics: that does not exploit people or other animals, operates in a more environmentally-friendly way and has adopted an inclusive and social attitude towards the world.
  3. No need for a brand new thing? Check whether you could buy it second-hand, borrow or trade it - and if you're looking for a one-night special occasion outfit only, try to rent it.
  4. Buy less, but better. Rather buy less for the same price, but with higher quality. Your cost per wear will not increase, usually, the exact opposite is true.
  5. Don't let yourself be driven by trends. Find your own style and build your wardrobe around it, creating a particular style of outfits that are easily matched and you’ll wear for years to come.
  6. Take better care of your clothes: wash them less often and go for a cold wash if possible, use a more sustainable detergent, opt for a clothesline instead of a dryer, and hang out your clothes in the steam of your bathroom to combat wrinkles and unpleasant odours of your clothes. And repair what can be repaired. How you handle your clothing has a huge impact on the environment - even bigger than production and distribution combined.

When affordable shopping on Black Friday is not a luxury

If you still want to shop on Black Friday, then don't give in to the temptation of impulse buying. Instead - really not unlike any other day - buy something that you've already been wanting to buy for some time and actually need. Of course, if you don’t have as much to spend and you have waited until now because of affordability, we won’t get in your way.

However, don't get distracted buying things you really don't need. And if the discount or bottom price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you don’t, it will be the farmers or factory workers, the industry’s animals and our planet who pay the price.

Sources

1 YouTube
2 Fair Wear Foundation
3 Wall Street Journal
4 Good On You
5 True Cost
6 The Guardian
7 Statistica
8 European Clothing Action Plan
9 Shop Like You Give a Damn