Ever since clothing brand Patagonia took over Black Friday with its ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ message in 2011, the event, which is often seen as the peak of mass consumerism, has sprouted its fair share of counter messages and moves.
This year, more than 300 shopping brands are opting out for environmental reasons. The ‘Make Friday Green Again’ collective is encouraging consumers to repair, sell or recycle clothing they already own in an attempt to raise awareness of consumerism’s impact on the world.
Shutting down or opting out is the most common act of Black Friday rebellion. One company adopting a slightly different – and arguably more interesting – move for 2019 is Deciem, the parent company of specialist beauty brands including The Ordinary. Its plan is to discount for the whole month of November, and then shut down on the day itself – which it is calling Black (out) Friday. In a statement released on Instagram it said: “A 23% discount is now available across every product from every brand at Deciem.com, and at our cosy standalone stores around the world. The saving will be available for the next month, so there really is no need to hurry.”
The ‘don’t hurry’ message directly takes on one of the most obvious objections to Black Friday – which is the frenzied, hysterical approach to shopping it provokes. The underlying issue is that this contributes to more people buying more things they don’t actually really want or need – with the main victim being the planet, and our ever-deepening climate crisis.
But Deciem doesn’t throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. Its month-long initiative still offers people the chance to purchase its products at a discount, potentially opening them up to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
This acts as a proud demonstration of its faith in the inherent virtue of its products. Deciem is a beauty company based on the principle of doing things differently. It is led by its values and principles, and makes products it believes are good for people. Think a simple energy control device for the home that would significantly reduce usage, or a health service that successfully gets people to exercise outdoors.
That way you successfully merge meaningful change with commercial and financial success – which is the best path to businesses success there is.