While some reports are forecasting retail sales will hit 8.71 billion pounds over Black Friday weekend as consumers shop early for Christmas, several fashion brands are boycotting this year’s discounting event in favour of championing sustainability, resale, and charity.
Black Friday officially takes place on November 25, and while many retailers and brands have already begun to slash their prices to attract customers looking to bag a discount for Christmas, brands including Rixo, Baukjen and Me+Em are taking a stand against overconsumption.
Rixo to step away from Black Friday in favour of Giving Tuesday
While in previous years Rixo’s have participated in Black Friday, this year, the female-owned womenswear brand is instead championing Giving Tuesday and highlighting how it creates treasured pieces which are produced in limited runs.
On November 29, the British fashion brand will donate 15 pounds for every transaction to Women For Women International. The charity supports women in some of the world’s most dangerous places, helping them learn marketable job skills to rebuild their lives.
Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, co-founders at Rixo, said in a statement: “We’re excited to say that we won’t be participating in Black Friday this year. Previously, we have had to do so due to increased stock levels during the pandemic. As female founders with no investors, we have the power to make these decisions and are proud to do so, therefore we have re-align with our values and won’t follow mass consumer trends and be forced into markdowns.
“We haven’t increased our prices, even though inflation and our cost across the board have creeped up, we are taking the hit as we believe in offering our customer, you, true value for money. As part of our ongoing sustainability journey, we only produce limited runs of the special things customers treasure for years to come.”
Baukjen and Isabella Oliver to donate clothing to Smart Works this Black Friday
Sustainable womenswear brand Baukjen and maternity label Isabella Oliver, collectively known as the House of Baukjen, are continuing their stance against Black Friday by instead pledging to give back. For the four-day shopping weekend, from November 25 to 28, House of Baukjen will donate clothing to UK women’s charity Smart Works, which helps unemployed women reach their full potential and secure employment.
This marks the third year running that Baukjen and Isabella Oliver have stepped away from Black Friday, and this year they will be running a site-wide 20 percent off promotion, while also donating one item of workwear-appropriate clothing to Smart Works for every customer order.
Baukjen de Swaan Arons, creative director and co-founder at House of Baukjen, said: “With inflation soaring and the cost-of-living crisis, we understand it’s very hard for both businesses and employees during this current landscape.
“As a leader in sustainability we wanted to support a charity that gives back by offering valued support across their dressing and interview coaching service, empowering women to be the best versions of themselves. We hope by donating interview appropriate pieces from our Baukjen collection, we can give Smart Works and the women they support the confidence to lead new, exciting futures.”
Cult Mia partners with Loop Generation for a zero-waste Black Friday sale
Cult Mia, the marketplace for independent brands, is partnering with resale platform Loop Generation to host a ‘Zero Waste Black Friday’ sample sale offering second-hand and archive samples.
The four-day sample sale will run from November 24 to 27 at Loop Generations store on Brompton Road, London, and will offer desirable pre-loved fashion from brands including Liya, Miscreants, Anisa Sojka, Monika Dimova, La Musa, By Varga and Blikvanger.
Nina Briance, founder and chief executive of Cult Mia, said: “The key thing that we look at when we select our brands is the principles that underpin them. From the outset, a sustainable outlook has been a core selection criteria for us. Black Friday always puts us and our brands to the test, as we never hold any brand-damaging markdowns. We want to ensure that we are protecting brands’ value and doing our part in mitigating mindless consumption.
“Cult Mia has never participated in Black Friday, even if any of our brand partners do. Having said this, we know how important it is to offer an incentive to shop during this competitive season, and how equally important it is to reward our loyal customers. We’re excited to host our first sample sale giving unmatchable prices on the bestselling pieces from our brands assortments - supported by a zero-waste mission.”
In addition, as a values-driven platform, Cult Mia will be donating a percentage of proceeds to sponsor educational programmes at the Girls Out Loud organisation that empowers girls to channel their potential and make better life choices.
Me+Em champions donating, not discounting this Black Friday
British luxury fashion brand Me+Em will be donating 10 pounds from every order it receives on Black Friday to The Prince’s Trust to support its Women Supporting Women initiative that helps disadvantaged girls and young women through education, training and support.
On its website, Clare Hornby, founder and chief executive at Me+Em, wrote: “Because we don’t believe in fast fashion. We don’t rush when it comes to making our clothes, and we don’t want you to rush when it comes to shopping them.
“We believe in making considered investment pieces that make you feel confident, that we know you’ll wear constantly and that will last for years to come. I appreciate that we aren’t the cheapest brand on the market, but I hope you’ll agree that the price is surprising once you discover the exceptional quality.
“That’s why, rather than discounting this Black Friday, we will be donating 10 pounds from every purchase made on Friday 25 November to The Prince’s Trust.”
Freitag invites customers to #DontShopJustSWAP!
Zurich-based bag maker Freitag is temporarily closing its online store for Black Friday and inviting its fans to “don’t shop, just swap” instead. In a statement, the bag manufacturer said that this Black Friday it is encouraging its customers to exchange rather than buy by redirecting its e-commerce site to the S.W.A.P (shop without any payment) exchange platform.
The brand states that it prefers to focus on “long-lasting products and sensible services and refuses to get involved in wasteful discount battles,” and is looking to use positive initiatives on Black Friday to say "yes to sensible consumption and no to retail frenzy".
As well as offering a swap exchange online, for the first time all global Freitag stores, including Zurich, Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, and Osaka will be hosting in-person, face-to-face swaps of bags.
Raeburn, Asket and Mud Jeans join the anti-Black Friday movement
Joining Freitag are a host of other fashion brands who are pledging their own anti-Black Friday initiatives:
-Denim brand MUD Jeans will be closing their online store and selling vintage jeans via a livestream instead.
-Sustainable fashion brand Raeburn will once again be disabling their online store for Black Friday.
-Wardrobe essentials brand Asket will be shutting down its website for the sixth year running, instead encouraging followers to care, repair and revive.
-Vegan sneaker brand Flamingos Life will be closing its online store.
-Sustainable Swiss surf and yoga clothing brand Oy will be closing its online store and calling for donations instead.