BLACK FRIDAY SALES
How did Black Friday Sales start, and is it sustainable?
The history of the Black Friday Sales dates back to the 1950s in Philadelphia (though the phrase may have be used prior).
In the city of Philadelphia in the United States of America, the day after Thanksgiving was called 'Black Friday' describing the chaos of the day. A big Army-Navy football game was held on that Saturday every year. This brought about large numbers of shoppers and tourists to the city. Police would have to work longer shifts, manage crowds, traffic and no doubt, there would also be the shoplifters that would take advantage of this chaos.
By the early 60s the term 'Black Friday' had cottoned on, and retailers unsuccessfully tried to change it to 'Big Friday'. It wasn't until the late 80s when retailers found a way to put a positive spin on the term, stating that shops were in financial terms, in the black (creating profit from the shopping) rather than in the red (at a loss) caused by the 'Black Friday' Sales.
This American concept came through to the UK as many big retailers in the UK are owned by American businesses.
This exclusive one day sale event has now become a much longer campaign drawn out over the weekend into a Cyber Monday and further.
- Big savings are often found in electronic items. Many replacement items are then put to landfill whilst still worthy of use, or sent to low quality recycling programs.
- Sales and 'offers' encourage shoppers to buy things they don't actually need. This not only contributes to a high level of waste, but also encourages overproduction.
- Various reports state that many purchases are used only once before being pushed to the back of the cupboard or thrown away.
- A higher level of packaging for deliveries being used. Many using plastic.
- There is a big impact on carbon emissions as more deliveries are required. Where a lot of delivery services are still struggling from the strains of Covid-19, the addition of sales just add to the pressure.
A report from money.co.uk estimated that deliveries from Black Friday sales in 2020 released around 429,000 tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, that's equivalent to carbon produced by 435 return flights from London to New York! [1.]
Is it sustainable?
As above, the environmental impact is huge, and in that respect, Black Friday Sales are most definitely not sustainable. However, we must remember that for a lot of people, these big money saving deals offered at these sales are the only chance they can actually buy what they need.
So don't get caught up with all the hype. Please think before you buy!
- Do you really need it?
- Have you already got a black dress, do you really need another version?
- Are you just buying it because it's on offer?
- Is it a long-lasting quality product that you will use?
- Does the company have an option to offset their carbon emissions?
- If you do make a purchase, don't forget to reuse the packaging it comes in!
- Be cautious, it has been known that big companies do tricky things to make it seem like the item is on sale when in fact, they've put the original prices up, or hide the fact that they've already been on sale before.
Is A KIND CLOTH having a sale?
As this post explains, there isn't much good for the environmental or social impact that a Black Friday Sale brings.
The only sales we have are to reduce waste. So any end of bolt remnant pieces are offered on our sales page at discounted prices throughout the year.
To be transparent and honest with you, as a new small business, the financial implications are incredibly harsh. Hopefully though, by this time next year, we will be in a position to offer donations from profits made during this time.
Please stay safe and stay conscious during this chaotic weekend!