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Navigating Black Friday in an eco-friendly way
Black Friday is upon us and although once an American tradition retailers the globe have adopted this 4 day frenzy stretching out to cyber Monday. A weekend where shoppers over-consume fast-fashion and retailers clear out stock— it's our planet ultimately pays the price.
For this reason as a brand Bam Loves Boo are not participating. However as a consumer we know how much everyone loves a sale so thought we out together this simple guide to a more conscious and sustainable way to navigate this sales period....But first just a little background on what this is and what it means for our environment.
Why is it Called Back Friday?
Black Friday apparently earns its name from American companies going from "In the red (debt) to in the black (profit)" the day after thanksgiving.
But for us Black Friday is much darker....It highlights the overwhelming issue of Mass Production and Mass consumption having huge effects on our environment not just in the manufacturing side but the aftermath of landfill.
Whats the problem?
There are lots of contributing factors but the main one is Fast Fashion.... Large Fashion brands pumping out huge volumes of clothing (mainly synthetic). One garbage truck full of clothes is dumped every single second.
It used to be that brands would use this opportunity to clear out old stock but once they saw the profits most Fast Fashion brands are now mass producing ranges JUST for this sale weekend- and guess where the bits that don't sell go....Yep straight to landfil.
These scenes from Chile's desert in November showcase the result of mass production and mass consumption literally Piling up. Synthetics take 200 years to breakdown releasing greenhouse gasses as they do. Equally as toxic are natural fibres such as cotton that are dyed or printed with chemicals and toxic inks.
Fashion Fashion - As touched on above fashion Fashion Brands are responsible for the mass production. Clothing production has almost double since 2020 with big fashion houses such as Zara offering 24 collections a year!
Imagine if the Government implemented a ban on advertising Black Friday sales (like the French Government did in 2019) or better still if the Big players made a stand against it and others followed suit? It's a supply and demand at the end of the day and big fast fashion brands will always see Dollar signs over ethics. I personally can't see them changing so feel its up to us as consumers to be the change.
Is it possible to participate responsibly?
Whilst we don’t want to contribute to the waste generated from Black Friday some of us still want to take advantage of sales especially with Christmas around the corner we need some help. Here are some ways to shop the sales and buy what you need without contributing to the frenzy and terrifying scenes we see across Chille. We just need to be more conscious with our shopping habits.
Top 5 Ways to be a Conscious Consumer during sales:
1. SHOP RESPONSIBLY - Look for what you need - Don't over consume, making fewer but better purchases will save the environment swell as your pocket. Only Buy what you need and see through the marketing and frenzy of panic buying by making a list and stick to it.
2. SHOP SMALL/ LOCAL - Support small business who doing small runs and do not over buy. For many Small business they rely on these sale periods to get through the year. After the last few years its more important to support your local store or your favourite instagram brand to keep them going.
3. SHOP ORGANIC/NON TOXIC - The best thing we can do is buy organic that way if they do end up in landfil they will biodegrade without releasing toxins into the earth and microfibres into the waterways. Even natural fibres take 200 years to break down if they hold chemicals in their inks and dyes so ensure they are non toxic.
4. QUALITY MADE - Buy well made quality clothing that will last and be passed down many times over. They may cost a bit More initially but in the long run you are saving money and the environment.
5. CHOOSE WISELY - Shop at brands that align with your values whether its ethically made, eco-friendly, plastic free. Some brands Plant Trees or donate to charity on black Friday as an alternative.
5. AVOID FAST FASHION - Ultimately try avoid the big players - whilst the big red sale signs and frenzy creates FOMO its these fast fashion store are the ones that are churning out product and dumping it after just as fast.
What Im trying to say is if you are shopping sales this Friday try to support local, support small and buy only what you need with a conscious purchase.