Slow down, don't speed up - Why we should start to think differently about "Black Friday"
It’s that time of the year again – Christmas is approaching, and the US celebrates Thanksgiving, marking the official start of the high sales season and overwhelming consumers by thousands of special offerings. You don’t need to glimpse into your calendar to know today’s date – everywhere you’re looking you’ll find ads saying something like “It’s Black Friday – get the best deals now”.
In fact, literally taken Black Friday is quite dark. Retailers use price discounts and exceptional offers to trigger consumers to buy now, to buy more and especially to buy anything (no matter if there is an actual need or not). And it works. On average, stores in Europe offer a discount of approx. 50%, thereby raising sales on Black Friday by 300% . The negative consequences of this behavior are hardly revealed although there are plenty: fast fashion experiences a real boost, people are invited to overconsume, and waste increases irresponsibly – just to name a few. In a nutshell: Black Friday is everything but not sustainable.
For us as AMELI, a brand based on values such as integrity, craftsmanship and transparency, it is a matter of heart to emphasize the importance of a sustainable use of resources, particularly on a day like Black Friday. We want to position ourselves very deliberately against the overconsumption and the fast fashion boom caused on this day. And we want to give you some food for thought that might inspire you to think differently about Black Friday or even behave differently as soon as the Black Friday campaigns start.
Sustainability matters. And it matters every day – be it Black Friday or not. Our resources are limited and should be used with respect. The health of our environment directly affects our own health, thus we should protect and not damage it. But it’s not only about resources and waste. It’s also about people. The life of each and everyone matters, and we should care for one another, not exploiting some for the sake of others. However, on Black Friday we tend to forget this. We get so busy hunting the best deals, finding the lowest prices and clicking the “Buy Now” button that we totally ignore the consequences of our behavior. We don’t ask ourselves which effects the low prices have on the workers producing these shoes or whether we really need this black pullover, although we already have 10 similar ones in our closet.
What seems like a small, unspectacular action for us – buying shoes, clothes, etc. – actually has an enormous negative impact on our society and our environment. And the time to start changing is already overdue. We must get aware of the consequences of our behavior now and adapt it accordingly. Consumption can be sustainable if we want it to, we just need to choose quality over quantity, fair working conditions over low prices, long-lasting materials over wasted resources. We already have a broad range of products and brands to choose from, which emphasize and support sustainability. So do we with our brand AMELI. We produce high-quality, elegant and timeless leather products with a focus on longevity. We ensure good working conditions during the whole production process and we try to avoid any waste of resources possible (which is why we introduced our KEYCHAINS to even use the leather leftovers arising from the production of our bags). Thereby, we want to defy the fast fashion trend. Of course, this comes at costs, which is why we have to charge a certain price level for our products. Still, we try to keep our margins low to offer our quality at affordable prices. But we can’t offer special discounts or drop our prices further – not even for a day. And we also don’t want to, because this would force us to enter a trade-off: lower prices would reduce our quality, which would contradict our sustainability values.
This is why, on this year’s Black Friday, we don’t have discounts for you as you might find them elsewhere. Instead, we hope to encourage you to think about your consumption behavior and resulting consequences differently. We invite you to invest into one high-quality product that lasts (like an AMELI bag), instead of spending the same amount of money on cheap, badly produced goods, which need to be constantly replaced. And we want to thank you - for choosing sustainable over wasteful, for supporting us in our mission against fast fashion - with a small gift (you’ll find more information in our shop).
Don’t be fooled by Black Friday offers. Think about the consequences before pressing the “Buy Now” button – it’s you, who can make a difference.