In complete honesty, for us as a company, Black Friday is tricky. In a nutshell, it represents the balance we face between advocating a slower, more thoughtful pace of consumption on one side – while also helping you find ethical and sustainable alternatives to the highstreet.
This is a fine line we constantly walk between facilitating (conscious) shopping while also trying to reduce consumption. We take these opposing forces into consideration in everything we do, including how we approach Black Friday.
In hopes of being transparent and honest, I want to share with you my thoughts on Black Friday, and explain how and why we are acknowledging the day this year.
Black Friday Is Out of Control
Black Friday is out of control. In 2018, the UK spent nearly £1.6 million every single minute on Black Friday shopping. The day essentially represents everything that we stand against: The promotion of unnecessary consumption, aggressive “buy NOW!” marketing campaigns, excessive waste and long hours for retail staff - not to mention the environmental cost of all that shipping! (If you want some stats to back this up, read on here). Not only has Black Friday become the most intense shopping day of the year in the UK, it seems one day isn’t enough for our shopping appetites. Now we also have Cyber Monday (for online deals) and more recently “Giving Tuesday” which was launched as some form of olive branch to compensate for the preceding weekend of excessive spend.
Last Year, We Boycotted Black Friday
Last year, we made the decision to abstain from Black Friday sales. We made this decision as a conscious resistance to a day promoting an ideology of “buy, buy, buy”. We thought our community would support our decision, and for the most part, they did. However, we also had a lot of people reach out to express their disappointment. This was initially surprising, but not entirely shocking. People inherently love a good deal. Especially at the start of the gift-giving season when deals and discounts can be extremely useful in helping people stay on budget during the holiday season. Fundamentally, we didn’t like the idea of simply slashing prices (also because as a small company, we simply can’t subsidise the true cost of our collections to the extent that large retailers can). More than that, we wouldn’t really want to. Our prices reflect fair wages, sustainable materials, and responsible production.
In efforts to find a good balance, we thought instead of boycotting the day, is there a way to harness its power?
For Black Friday: You Get & We Give.
This Black Friday, we are trying something new that we feel stays within our values, while still allowing us to offer something special to you. You’ll get 10% off the whole site, and we’ll donate an additional 10% to The Felix Project – an incredible NGO fighting food waste AND hunger by connecting surplus food with communities in need.
We will also be offering free Carbon Neutral shipping on all orders over £40 (all our shipping is always Carbon Neutral but normally we only offer free shipping on orders over £100). While we know this isn’t the huge “70% off” sale on the high street, we do hope that if you have been saving up for a gift – or something special for yourself- that this discount will make it more accessible for you, while also creating a positive impact on our local community here in the UK.
Back to the Roots of Black Friday with The Felix Project
We chose to partner with The Felix Project because of the incredible work they are doing to help tackle food poverty here in the UK. As an American, I associate the end of November with Thanksgiving - not ridiculous sales. So for me, the holiday is all about expressing gratitude and spending time with loved ones over a shared meal. Millions of people here in the UK are facing food poverty, and do not have the luxury of coming together over a warm, shared meal.
The Felix Project is helping these communities in Greater London by diverting surplus food from going to waste, and instead donating it to charities serving these populations. This year, they are on track to donate an estimated 6.5 million meals across Greater London through their partnerships with over 350 charities and primary schools, reaching vulnerable people, children and their families.
We’ll be working with The Felix Project throughout the holiday season, and will even be joining them to help organise and serve the meals that we are able to donate through your support.
We are really excited about this and are looking forward to harnessing the power of Black Friday into something positive with you. So if you are hunting for a deal, and want to make an impact, we hope that we have found the perfect solution.
Madeline & Lenny Founders of MAMOQ.