Fuck Black Friday
On November 26th, we will experience the world's biggest discount battle again: "Black Friday" marks the start of Christmas shopping and many bargain hunters are on an absolute buying spree.
But the resistance to the shopping madness is also getting louder. Is every “bargain” really a good deal? Where is the sustainability in impulse purchases? Shouldn't we rather shop consciously and sustainably?
We want to speak out very clearly against Black Friday and are not participating in it! Everything Black Friday embodies goes completely against our values. With this blog post we want to explain our motives for this and make you more aware of the topic "discounts" and "prices".
What is “Black Friday” anyway?
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the American harvest festival, Black Friday takes place in the USA. Shops and online shops lure with discounts and special offers - "good" deals as far as the eye can see. Crowds gather in long queues outside store doors to engage in the discount battle. Many Americans even take a day off to indulge in the shopping frenzy.
Have you ever wondered where the name "Black Friday" came from? There are various theories as to how Black Friday got its name. One of them is that the turnover on this day is so high that the dealers break out of the red and are "in the black".
Black Friday is now around the world. In 2006, Apple brought it to Germany, but it has only been held there on a larger scale since 2013. Most of the special offers here are offered by online retailers. For a long time now, the retailers' campaigns have not only taken place on Black Friday itself, but have been extended to a whole week, Black Week, a Black Weekend and the following Monday, Cyber Monday.
So you could call Black Friday the day of global mass consumption. The problem is clearly in the word "mass consumption" and if you were hoping for a Black Friday discount from us, we unfortunately have to disappoint you. You can now find out why we are not taking part in Black Friday and what speaks in our favor against it:
Point 1: mass consumption
Every German buys around 60 new items of clothing a year and wears them half as long as 15 years ago. The wardrobes are already full: Various surveys show that almost everyone has clothes in their closet that are never worn. Clothing is bought without much hesitation as most fashion is cheap, especially when hefty discounts invite bargain hunting. Statistics show that despite increased consumption of clothing, the cost of clothing only increased by about 10 percent between 2000 and 2015. Because fashion is so cheap, it has become disposable: today's trends are tomorrow's garbage. Global textile production has more than doubled since 2000. In 2014, more than 100 billion pieces of clothing were produced for the first time, which corresponds to a turnover of 1.8 trillion US dollars. While German consumers buy 10 kilograms of new clothing every year, it is 16 kilograms in the USA and only around two kilograms in Africa/Middle East. With the growing consumption of textiles in industrialized countries, the environmental consequences in manufacturing countries such as Bangladesh and China are also growing. And the health consequences of the seamstresses are not insignificant due to the large number of chemicals used - not to mention the wages, which are often barely enough to live on.
Point 2: impulse purchases
Just because products are apparently cheap at the moment, many things are bought that are often not even needed. We all know it: you see a 50% discount and bang you packed it. When you get home, however, thoughts like: "I didn't really need it" or "I don't think it's that nice after all". Black Friday is designed to do just that: stimulate reckless consumption and empty brands' inventories. Incidentally, it has been proven that consumption does not make you happy - in fact, it actually causes the opposite. Researchers have found that purchases (especially with discounts) initially trigger a feeling of elation in people, but afterwards they tend to evoke negative emotions such as inner emptiness, which encourages repeated purchases or even feelings of guilt.
Point 3: false discounts
Not every bargain is a good deal: some discounts are “artificially inflated”. This means that the discounts are often not based on the actual market price, but on the "manufacturer's recommended retail price" (RRP), which is set well above the usual prices (see also the NDR report on Cyber Monday 2019 ). This makes the Black Friday discount look bigger than it really is. Instead of a 50-60% discount, it is often only 10-25%. There are also brands and many typical so-called "Instagram Brands" who calculate their prices in such a way that they actually plan a 30-50% discount all the time. So that means: the prices are generally almost twice as high as they should or should be, just so that the brands can constantly lure you with discounts! We don't want to name any names here , but many people know which brands we mean when we talk about permanently high discounts for candles and sportswear. However, we don't want to criticize the products here, we just want to draw your attention to the fact that discounts are not always discounts, but often just lures. So just be careful when you realize that brands are constantly offering big discounts - because if prices are normal and fairly calculated, it's really not possible to offer discounts of 30-50% constantly.
For all these reasons, we have decided not only not to participate in Black Friday, but also to start a counter-movement with #fuckblackfriday! That's why today (Friday) we only have black products in the shop at our normal prices. We want to send a signal: a signal against mass consumption, against impulse buying, against false discounts and for more awareness, for more transparency and for more sustainability.
And we want to go one step further and really show you transparently and explain how our prices are made up. Many brands keep this a big secret and often not without reason, as we explained earlier in the topic of "false discounts". But since our prices are really "real" and calculated fairly for you, we would like to explain them to you using our wheelchair as an example:
The wheelchair costs €89 in our shop and is one of our absolute favorites and bestsellers! The price is made up as follows:
- Material: €18.86, 21%, our turtleneck is made from beech wood, which is processed into high quality and super soft MicroModal
- Production: €8.76, 10%, the turtleneck is produced fairly in Poland in a family sewing workshop. The production price is relatively low because the processing of the wheelchair is not very complex
- Packaging & shipping: 6.11€, 7%, we pack sustainably and plastic-free and send climate-neutral with DHL Go Green
- Animal welfare: €1.50, 2%, we always donate 2% of our sales to the organization 4 Hufe im Glück, which is passionate about horses and ponies in need
- Transaction costs: €3.19, 3.5%, we have to hand over to payment providers such as Paypal and Klarna
- Marketing: 13.35€, 15%, in order to grow and have an ever greater impact, we run Instagram and Google Ads and occasionally run campaigns with our influencers
- Sales tax: 19%, of course we also have to pay it on every product sold
- Rest: €20, 22.5%, of which we then pay all fixed costs such as rent, salaries, shop system, tax advice, product development, etc.
We hope that we were able to give you a good insight into the composition of prices and that you may now look at prices with different eyes. Sustainable and fair production has a certain price - but we have calculated it in such a way that we can offer you the best price over the long term without throwing discounts around.
Meanwhile, there are some counter-movements to Black Friday. Have you ever heard of “Circular Monday” or “Buy Nothing Day”?
Buy Nothing Day first existed in Canada as Buy Nothing Day. It's the Saturday right after Black Friday and it's supposed to be used to just not buy anything: 24 hours voluntarily abstain from consumption and take a shopping break.
The latest counter-movement to Black Friday is White Monday (also known as Circular Monday), which started in Sweden in 2017. Instead of getting into the discount battle on Black Friday, White Monday on November 22 calls for sustainable consumption. Unlike the Buy Nothing Day, you shouldn’t buy anything at all, but rather shop differently, more sustainably and consciously. For example, instead of buying everything new: buy things used, repair or recycle them and value sustainably produced goods when shopping.
All counter-movements to Black Friday have one thing in common: they encourage us to rethink our buying behavior and are opposed to mass consumption, impulse buying and discount battles.
We have now prepared a few tips for you that might help you on Black Friday:
- If you want to buy something on Black Friday, don't fall into the shopping frenzy, but buy consciously and from sustainable brands
- Always ask yourself the question: Do I even need this? Would I still buy it if it wasn't on sale?
- Make a list to avoid impulse buying
- Join the "Buy Nothing Day" and White Monday and support the counter-movements to Black Friday. Support sustainable brands and share their posts and write your own personal thoughts on Insta (also feel free to use our #fuckblackfriday).
The whole topic is really very important to us and we hope that maybe some of you will start the next week a little more consciously. :)
By the way, we have teamed up with many great sustainable brands for our Anti Black Friday campaign, which we can highly recommend to you - including:
- Josea, www.joseasurfwear.com ; The original idea of the campaign came from Josea . They make sustainable bikinis that fit like sports bras. Jessi and I have some ourselves and love them very much! The bikinis are even produced in Germany by a really great team and only after ordering!
- Equimus, www.equimus.com ; Like us, Equimus is a sustainable equestrian brand. There are great and above all sustainable saddle pads, bandages and fly hoods. We recently did a small campaign together and think it's just nice that brands that are looking in the same direction support each other - together we are always stronger and we just have super similar values for nature, people and animals.
- Nafilia, www.nafilia.com ; We introduced you to Nafilia a few weeks ago on our Instagram channel when it came to vegan leather. Nafilia makes halters from vegan leather alternatives eg cactus leather, pineapple leather etc. The halters feel really great!
- Knusperpony, www.knusperpony.de ; Knusperpony makes horse treats from natural ingredients, without any artificial additives - homemade and sustainably packaged! We always send a small test package with our packages and the horses love the treats very much!
- Re-qui, www.re-qui.de ; Re-qui recycles old and worn-out horse blankets into new products, such as dog blankets, saddle covers or duffle bags - a super nice idea!
- Carevalo, www.carevallo.com ; At Carevallo there is individual horse feed that is perfectly tailored to the needs of your horse - high-quality and regional ingredients and everything by hand!
- Ridersfuture, www.ridersfuture.de : Ridersfuture is an online shop for vegan care products for humans and animals, packaged plastic-free and developed with a lot of love.
So at this point, many thanks again to all brands who have joined the campaign and of course to all of you! You really are a great community and we really appreciate any kind of support, whether it's with words, sharing content and and and - a thousand thanks! <3