To millions of consumers around South Africa and beyond, Black Friday is a rare gift from the retail houses to consumers. For many, it’s the perfect day to lay their hands on that elusive product or bargain sale which is beyond their financial means. The multitudes of people that throng shopping malls and retail stores speaks to how many people look forward to this day.
However, there is another side of the story for those who are conscious of Black Friday’s impact on consumerism, the environment and financial wellbeing. To this group of people, Black Friday has become one of the major peaks of consumerism. This shopping binge also generates greater volumes of waste than ever and individual and household incomes and financial wellbeing are impacted by buying without thinking for a minute.
This anti-Black Friday train of thought has filtered through into the world of business with certain corporates and brands choosing to be mindful and deliberating distancing themselves from Black Friday. Here are some businesses that’s being mindful this Black Friday
This year, the Safari.com team has decided to #EscapeBlackFriday. This reputable travel and tourism company has affirmed its belief in absorbing the lessons that 2020 has delivered regarding the makeup of our lives on things such as how we spend our time and our money. So, rather than exploring online stores or shopping centres with the crowds this year, Safari.com is heading outdoors and the business has put in every effort to encourage people to do the same.
“In order to ‘put our money where our mouth is’, we’re helping South Africans achieve this goal by giving cold, hard cash to cover fuel or flight expenses throughout November. No questions asked! Just book a getaway with Safari.com and you qualify for up to R1,500.00 back in cash,” says Safari.com. Safari.com has also committed itself to working extremely hard on sourcing the absolute best and affordable safari opportunities in South Africa for customers so that they can spend their money mindfully and meaningfully this year. Check out the deals here.
Cards Against Humanity
Making a mockery of Black Friday is a habit for this company. Every year, their team creates an absurd campaign to rebel against overconsumption on Black Friday. For 2020, Cards Against Humanity (CAH) has fun expansion card games to make us laugh, redesigned into three color-coded boxes – a Red Box, Blue Box, and Green Box. They also have our favourite: Cards Against Humanity Family Edition. Of course, we also add KinderPerfect for even more fun! With the Family Edition for sale on Amazon, we don’t think CAH will have another card pack for this Black Friday. But will they have a crazy humans vs. computers contest like last year? Or the 99% Off Sale from the year before?
Due to their policy on marketing, it is rare to see any Black Friday sales from Lush. Lush has a strict refusal for any marketing efforts, including ad and television. Lush has no celebrities tied to the brand, nor do they use social media as a means to sell product. Instead, Lush succeeds widely by letting their product speak for itself. Customers who are happy and return to purchase additional items often tell friends and family, spreading the business strictly by word of mouth.
Rather than see massive sales or discounts during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Lush instead has a big sale each year on Boxing Day. The holiday originated in the United Kingdom and is traditionally celebrated the day after Christmas. Because Lush began as a UK-based store, they celebrate the holiday each year with one of their biggest sales of the year.
Greenpeace – ‘Make Smthng Week’
Greenpeace runs an international campaign across 5 continents to counter the high level of consumerism that surrounds Black Friday and Christmas. Called ‘Make Smthng Week’, the campaign invites people to create their own products as a way of taking a stand against the global wave of holiday shopping. Events are held around the world to teach people how to repair, upcycle, share, DIY and reuse products, promote a zero waste and plastic-free lifestyle in fashion, home décor and more. The programme of workshops and talks are run by hundreds of fashion and product designers, artists, chefs, up cyclers, models and zero waste activists.
For anyone planning on shopping at Everlane this Black Friday, you shouldn’t expect to see any of the storewide discounts that most of the other clothing stores run over the busy holiday weekend. Why’s that? It’s because Everlane uses the day as an opportunity to focus on their employees. They typically put together a fund with a goal of raising money for their factory workers. Their standard practice of not marking up products means they provide savings all year long and will not conform to Cyber Monday gimmicks.
The brands listed point to how others can choose to go against the grain and still achieve noble goals. Black Friday is a couple of weeks away, it’s never too late to join mindful brands like these.