While many brands and retailers pull out all the stops on Black Friday to sell, sell, sell, some use the day to reverse sales by either halting sales activities, enabling re-trade or taking back old items for recycling. FashionUnited has highlighted some of them for those who want alternatives to consumption and overconsumption.
Take Back Friday by Teemill
At the forefront is the circular economy platform Teemill, which is working with its community of 10,000 stores to ask customers to send back Teemill-made clothing they no longer wear as part of the #TakeBackFriday campaign.
Returned products are then used to create new products using Teemill’s innovative Remill technology. Customers will be rewarded with a £5 credit to use on future purchases of circular economy products.
“Black Friday is a symptom of how waste has become woven into the way our world works. Products are designed to be thrown away, which means the only way to create growth is to make and sell more products and create more waste. It fuels climate change and destroys nature,” Teemill founder Mart Drake-Knight commented in a statement.
“We built Teemill to solve that problem. Our products are designed from the ground up to come back and be remade, which means that instead of creating waste, we make new products from it. Doing the right thing shouldn’t cost the earth, so we made the platform free because we want to encourage everyone who cares about these issues to have the chance to create a more sustainable future with us,” adds Drake-Knight.
After working for years to design a circular supply chain, the company that started as a fashion brand called Rapanui in 2008 was relaunched as the Teemill platform in 2018. Using only recycled, natural materials (not plastic) even for packaging, used Teemill creates value from waste and takes responsibility even after the life cycle of a product is over.
The UK-based company currently works with more than 10,000 brands, including global NGOs and businesses, media, content creators and online influencers, offering an open access circular design and supply chain platform. Users include Greenpeace, WWF, BBC Earth, Google, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and Lush.
To date, Teemill has diverted 30,000 kilos of organic cotton from landfill, avoided 1 million kilos of CO2e emissions and saved 586 million liters of water by using the Remill process which turns returned products into new high quality products, all of which can go through the same process if and again. Teemill’s goal is to take back 100 million items by 2027 and Take Back Friday is a way to get consumers to participate.
Buy Back Friday by Raeburn
British fashion studio Raeburn will empty its flagship store at 2 Marshall Street in Soho, London of current seasonal stock on Friday, allowing circularity partner Responsible to turn it into a Buy Back Friday resale centre. Consumers can bring in men’s and women’s items from Raeburn and other premium streetwear brands to have them authenticated and valued on the spot for a cash exchange. Visitors will also get tips on how to assess their current and future wardrobe with a focus on consciously keeping clothes in rotation and out of landfills for as long as possible.
“We’ve always had an opposite view of Black Friday – one of restoration and repair,” commented Raeburn founder and designer Christopher Raeburn in a press release. “Traditionally, we close shop on this day to encourage a sustainable mindset: buy less, but better. We’ve taken it one step further this year by bringing in the responsible team to educate customers about the proactive steps they can take to make purchases that keep the product in circulation for many years and several new owners.”
“All collected parts will go through our first-class refurbishing process. We will ozone clean everything and carry out high-quality repairs, so that each part feels brand new when delivered in minimal, plastic-free packaging to the next customer via our responsible re-sale shop,” explained CMO Ciaran Jordan .
Green Friday by Deuter
The German outdoor brand Deuter encourages less consumption in favor of conscious shopping and sustainable actions by turning Black Friday into Green Friday. Deuter will donate 10 percent of the turnover from online sales in the period 25 to 27 November 2022 to the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) for the project “Strengthening Human-Elephant Coexistence” in Ghana.
The money raised will improve and restore the habitat of the African forest elephant, which is threatened with extinction. Trees will also be planted and around 5,000 people educated about the value of elephants to the Kakum Conservation Area ecosystem. In addition, around 500 farmers will receive training in better agricultural techniques and methods.
To extend the life cycle of its products, Deuter has also traveled to different cities in Germany to repair backpacks directly in stores.
Swap Friday for Freitag
The Swiss bag manufacturer Freitag not only closes its physical stores as in previous years on Black Friday, but for the first time also its online store on this day. Instead, those interested can either exchange their bags on the SWAP platform or do so face-to-face at all brick-and-mortar stores of the brand from Zurich to Tokyo.
Freitag is also teaming up with like-minded brands like Raeburn (see above), Dutch denim pioneer Mud Jeans, Swedish minimalist fashion brand Asket, Spanish vegan sneaker brand Flamingos Life, Seattle-based surf and yoga clothing brand Oy and others who will also be closing their online stores on Black Friday and presents various initiatives and constructive actions for fair and sustainable ways of doing business and consumption instead.
More fashion brands that boycott Black Friday discounts can be found here.