Black Friday: Why we're choosing to participate.
Black Friday hit the UK in full force in 2014 with small and large retailers running promotions in order to encourage consumers to spend, spend, spend! However, Black Friday has been widely criticised by environmental organisations and sustainable-minded individuals for being a symbol of overconsumption.
We are a sustainable business who pride ourselves on having incredibly strong ethics. So, when it comes to Black Friday, we face an interesting dilemma. Black Friday is considered to be highly unsustainable - it has a growing reputation for excessive consumption and greed. We've all seen the crazy videos of stampedes - thousands of wild-eyed bargain hunters trampling over each other to fill their trolleys with TVs and vacuums by the dozen. Not a great watch if you're looking to restore faith in humanity. Nevertheless, Black Friday is not getting any less popular. Especially with the rising inflation rates, research revealed that 95% of consumers say inflation will affect their spending and 67% plan to buy during Black Friday. So, by its very nature, Black Friday is incompatible with what we do and everything we represent. Or is it?
Why is Black Friday considered unsustainable?
- It encourages over-consumption
- It encourages cheap consumption - and someone in the production chain is often having to pay that cost
- Black Friday is frantic and frenzied. Pretty much the antithesis of the conscious, considered approach that we take here at UpCircle!
- It is actually unprofitable for most businesses
- Black Friday usually hurts small independent businesses as they cannot compete with the larger firms due to their higher cost base
- Unconscious shopping, means more transport, packaging, emissions etc.
So after that... why have we decided to participate in Black Friday. Is it possible to do Black Friday ‘right’? Here is our logic.
1. As a company we are trying to maximise our positive impact on the world. We want to see an UpCircle product in every home. We genuinely believe that our products are better than mainstream alternatives due to their sustainability credentials – our company is vegan, cruelty-free, upcycled, organic, 99% plastic free, handmade and all natural. If by honouring Black Friday we convert one consumer who has been on the sidelines about our brand into a loving loyal customer, then we're one step closer to achieving our bigger mission.
2. We are personally absorbing the full cost of Black Friday. Nobody further down our supply or production chain is taking the hit. We have seen brands offering 70% + discounts. We can't and won't offer price cuts that extreme. It does not align with our ethics. It also begs the question - if you can afford to price cut that much, are you charging too much in the first place??
3. Due to the rising inflation rates, we personally wanted to give our customers the opportunity to buy our products at the lowest price we can offer for the remaining year. Whether that be for their repeat orders or gifting for the festive season etc. Black Friday orders are usually larger in quantity (number of products) than normal orders. This is GOOD. It means that instead of shipping 4 products over 3 months they all go in one box, on one day, in one van. Less transport costs. Less packaging costs. Less time cost for us packaging. It makes sense to order MORE on Black Friday (provided it is something you already needed or considered purchasing at full price).
We are passionate about what we do and proud of what we've created. By participating we are not trying to encourage greed or a throwaway culture, we simply hope that by offering great deals this Black Friday during a difficult financial time our customers are able to get a lower price point for their repeat orders and gifts. We are encouraging people to make a BETTER and more conscious choice.
Stay tuned for more info on what we've got in store.