Why We're Not Participating in Black Friday
As you will be no doubt aware from the constant stream of messaging covering every inch of the internet, today is Black Friday. Black Friday, and the following Cyber Monday, began in the U.S. marking the start of the busy Christmas retail period. Now one of the biggest retail days of the year globally, Black Friday uses deep discounting and special offers to trigger a sense of urgency to consumers; resulting in low cost, high volume impulse buying - of things we do not need.
Since our launch, we have never held any sales or discounted any product. Our prices reflect the true cost of making that garment responsibly, and that doesn't change. So while we naturally won't be participating in today's mayhem, we wanted to go one step further and share the reason why with you.
Today you will be pressured to buy. The nature of Black Friday is to create urgency and a feeling of scarcity, if you don't purchase you will miss out. Black Friday is a day of consumption for the sake of consumption.
Projected sales for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over $10 billion dollars. Imagine the global impact we could make if we chose to spend that $10 billion for good. We can only speak from the perspective of the fashion industry, as that is our world, but the way the industry is built at the moment is a mess. Here's a little look into the way we are currently consuming clothing..
- 80 billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally each year
- Australians on average consume 27kgs of new clothing each year, of which 23kg ends up in landfill
- Australians wear garments on average only 7 times
- 40% of millennials have bought half the clothes they own in the last 12 months
- 85% of the textiles we buy end up in landfill
- Australians dump 6,000kg of clothing in landfill every 10 minutes
- Only 10% of the clothing donated to op-shops actually ends up there, the rest is sold to developing countries or sent to landfill
The way we consume clothing has changed dramatically over the last few decades; we buy far more clothes (400% more than we did 20 years ago) and keep them for a far shorter time. We are constantly chasing bargains and forcing the price of clothing down, but to quote Lucy Siegle, "fast fashion isn't free, someone, somewhere is paying."
The environmental impact of consuming clothing in this way is astronomical. The clothing and textiles industry is responsible for the depletion of non-renewable resources and using massive quantities of chemicals, energy and water. Not to mention the repercussions to the environment of the staggering amount of textiles we are sending to landfill every year.
We need to slow things down and look at our behaviour. We need to demand better from brands and as consumers, change the way we see and consume clothing so that brands are able to change too.
It's time to move away from our throwaway culture, from the mindset that fashion is disposable. We need to break our addiction to new and break the cycle demanding speed and volume. Let's re-wear our clothes, repair our clothes, swap with friends, buy secondhand and invest in quality clothing from brands doing right by people and planet.
"If no debate occurs, the ads filling public and private space will continue to promote their 'autistic' perspectives. And the oppression that individuals feel beneath their artificial luminescence when they see them on escalators, platforms, bus stands, building facades, motorways, seat backs, roundabouts and curbsides will grow. The top-down systems, the messaging, the myths, the pollution mentale, the veiled pathologies and the projected neurotic and psychotic blocks will be felt and forwarded." - Emma Neuberg, founder of the Slow Textiles Group, an excerpt from the Sustainable Fashion Handbook