Black Friday. It’s the day of the year that all environmentalists dread and many marketers dream of. On Friday we were bombarded with consumption messages from all angles, from emails to Instagram, you couldn’t flick onto a platform without being inundated with buy now and buy cheaper messages. With up to 80% of items bought over Black Friday, and the weekend that follows, ending up either in landfill or incineration (source: Green Alliance) it’s important to remember the environmental impact of this day.
The worst part? As brands fight for space, it seems these overconsumption messages are getting bolder. In fact, we saw Pretty Little Thing offering a mind-blowing 100% off during its Black Friday sale. Eeesh!
But what about the impact of this overconsumption, not just on the planet but on the people involved throughout the whole supply chain. We’re talking about those sourcing the raw materials, the garment workers or the factory staff. At every stage of the supply chain people are affected. And, at a time when our planet is in crisis we need to be carefully considering the impact we have.
With all the bad that Black Friday brings, there are also a huge array of brands who are unwilling to participate and instead running disruptive ‘Green Friday’ campaigns that prioritise people and planet. So, here’s a run down of a few of our favourites…
Hiut Denim’s 7 Tips For Black Friday Shopping
We know what you’re thinking, how can clothing brands and anti-Black Friday campaigns co-exist. But Hiut Denim pride themselves in doing one thing well – producing the best jeans, not the most jeans they can.
This Black Friday they went guerilla-esque with a landing page that shows CCTV footage of seven different recycling centres across the country to shine a spotlight on the amount of waste that ends up in landfill everyday. This was teamed with a clickbait title promising seven tips for Black Friday shopping.
But instead of tips on how to grab the latest bargain, this offered advice on how to avoid overconsumption, including “repair things, darn it” and “buy quality” – because isn’t that the absolute truth.
Karma Drinks Raising Their Prices
With their ‘Every drink does good’ messaging, 1% of revenue from every Karma goes towards their Karma Foundation. But as other brands slashed their prices this weekend, we loved seeing Karma’s bolder approach in doing just the opposite. For this Black Friday they have raised the prices for their drinks so true supporters can donate an extra £5 that will go directly into the Karma Foundation to support Karma’s Cola nut growers and their communities in Sierra Leone. It’s great to work with the Karma Drinks crew, and it’s great to see our messaging rolled out across their brand.
Labour Behind The Label’s Make Amazon Pay
Known for using protest-like tactics and disruptive campaigns to get its messaging heard – Labour Behind The Label (LBTL) doesn’t disappoint with its latest Black Friday campaign. They documented live as they took to the streets en route to Amazon’s London HQ to demand Amazon pay the workers of their Hulu Garment supplier, based in Cambodia, in response to Amazon reportedly firing them while withholding payment.
Part of the campaign featured a huge replica of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, which joined the parade on the outside stairs of Amazon’s HQ. This campaign was delivered in partnership with War On Want and GMB Union, as well as other organisations across the world from Brazil to Bangladesh also protesting in support of #MakeAmazonPay.
Finisterre’s Blue Friday
This Black Friday, Finisterre swapped discounts for donations that make a difference. In recognition of the many mental and physical barriers that prevent people from connecting to the sea, for every order placed during their Blue Friday weekend Finisterre donated £2.50 to the Finisterre Foundation Wetsuit Project. The Foundation works with its Bodyline partners to adapt any wetsuit from any brand, for any age and ability, in order to make the ocean more accessible. Now this is one Black Friday campaign we can absolutely get behind.
Good Energy’s Power Of Less
Obviously, we’d want to include a campaign we’ve created… It’s common to see businesses funnel thousands of pounds into marketing campaigns during this time, whether it’s in support of overconsumption or anti-Black Friday messaging. But if it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s refreshing that for this Black Friday, Good Energy has opted for re-platforming their incredible Power Of Less campaign and focusing their efforts (and revenue) further into producing genuine renewable energy. The Power Of Less campaign reimagines a world where, instead of living for more, we lived for less. It raises awareness around the dangers of overconsumption and frames a world where we live in harmony with our planet.
So for all the brands out there who are turning their back on the consumption message in favour of people and the planet, we salute you. It’s amazing to see organisations putting purpose at the heart of their marketing messages and working to make the world a better place.