The Brands Boycotting Black Friday

Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, shoppers flock to stores and online retailers to find the year’s biggest and best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More often than not, we can overconsume, simply because of the value of the buy. However, as we become more conscious of the repercussions of our overconsumption, perhaps it’s time to stop and think whether our purchases are actually a necessity. Here are the brands making us do just that.

Christopher Raeburn, founder of his eponymous label and current Creative Director of Timberland, has also closed both his ecommerce store and also their pop-up shop for Black Friday. The designer announced on social media this morning, “we don't want to put our items on sale; we believe we provide good value and we'd prefer to act in a responsible way”. Raeburn continued to say, “We simply cannot continue to consume the way we do. We need to start making more considered choices; buying less but better”.

Veja, the sustainable sneaker brand that prides themselves on their ethical approach to production, announced this week that they will not be taking part in Black Friday. The brand said in a social media post that, “all the VEJA team took the decision to say goodbye to Black Friday”. Although Veja has previously taken part in the shopping extravaganza, they added that they ‘took part but felt bad every time’. “We felt bad because we don’t like this craziness, we don’t like that everybody is pushed to buy products they don’t necessarily need, and that we may even not use”.

Everlane made its name through its incredibly transparent pricing structure. The problem for them on Black Friday is that they already sell their products at the lowest possible price point. So, where they can’t offer lower prices, they can offer more value in terms of where your moneygoes. Everlane call this, their ‘Black Friday Fund’; a percentage of every purchase that goes to a better cause. This year, they have partnered with Surfrider Foundation to donate $250,000 to clean up 20,000 pounds of plastic from our beaches and seas. For every order made, they will donate $13 to the fantastic cause. If you want to overindulge today, consider doing it at Everlane, where your money goes towards a brilliant cause.

Rei Co-Op
In the past few years, REI Co-Op, an outerwear clothing and equipment company, have boycotted Black Friday, instead encouraging their workers to spend time outdoors with their friends and family. Starting the hashtag ‘#OptOutside’ on social media, REI have stopped taking online orders and pay all 12,000 of their employees to spend the day outside. Not only does this stop overconsumption of their products throughout the day, it encourages positive wellbeing for their employees too.

With many other brands simply opting out of the weekend of shopping, could this be the start of the end for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?