Why we’re flying the anti-Black Friday flag

Black Friday.

A date in the calendar that has become synonymous with mass consumerism in a world where we are already using more ecological resources than our planet can sustain.

Last year environmentalists warned that Black Friday causes spikes in air pollution and plastic waste. We are essentially wrecking our planet for a discounted dishwasher or clothing that will likely end up unworn.

As a communications agency focused on driving positive environmental and social impact, we do not advocate the continued push toward a “spend, spend, spend” mentality. Instead, we are flying the anti-Black Friday flag and sharing some of our favourite against the grain campaigns to inspire an alternative movement toward greater environmental stewardship. It’s time to #ShopLessLiveMore.

$10 million for the planet

Patagonia set the trend for an anti-Black Friday movement as far back as 2011, with the now infamous ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ campaign. This tactical style of nudge marketing helped Patagonia to establish a strong community of consumers who appreciated the brand’s ethical and environmental values.

In 2016, they raised the bar once again by donating a record-breaking $10 million from Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental organisations across the globe. Customers heralded the campaign as a “fundraiser for the earth.”

The Orangutan Soap

We’ve always been fans of cruelty-free cosmetics brand Lush. In 2017, they teamed up with Orangutan SOS to launch a limited edition range of orangutan themed soaps. Only 14,600 were made to highlight the remaining 14,600 orangutans in Sumatra whose lives are under threat from deforestation in the region.

The funds raised from the soaps went towards the restoration of native forest on a former illegible palm oil plantation on the edge of Leuser Ecosystem in Bukit Mas, Sumatra.

REI’s #OptOutside initiative

For the fourth year running, US outdoor brand REI is closing its doors today and inviting customers to #OptOutside. Not only is the campaign helping to reduce the environmental impact of Black Friday, it’s encouraging us to get away from our computer screens and enjoy nature!

This year REI is going one step further and asking people to change their mindsets and reconsider daily routines. Studies have proven that being outdoors improves our health and well-being – it’s time to #OptOutside all year long.

Black Pie Day

We’re pleased to see action is also being taken closer to home. Bristol foodie institution, Pieminister, will be baking their classic Moo and Kevin pies in charcoal in honour of Black Pie Day with 100% of profits being donated to Shelter charity.

Spend wisely and give to a good cause by getting involved from 12 noon today.

Buy Nothing Day

Perhaps the ultimate antithesis to Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day is a “worldwide celebration of living lightly” originally founded in 1992 by Canadian artist Ted Dave and popularised by environmental, anti-consumerism magazine Adbusters.

The concept is simple; buy nothing for 24 hours. Ultimately, the team want people to make a commitment to shopping less and living more. Could a Buy Nothing Christmas become the next act of global rebellion in the fight to live more sustainably?

If you are working towards positive change and have a great story to tell, we would love to hear from you. Contact the team on info@wpms9.hosts.cx or call 0117 214 1250.

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