For most of us, Black Friday conjures up visions of extreme price slashing, countless plastic-wrapped packages piling up on doorsteps, and people going toe to toe over 40" plasma TV screens in jam-packed tech stores. Once a 24-hour-only affair, the biggest day in retail now spans a week (or two - judging by the date my first Black Friday email hit my inbox). Black Friday is widely known as the antithesis of considerate, sustainable consumption. A shocking 80% of all Black Friday purchases end up in landfill within a year.*
In an effort to rebel against the rampant consumerism surrounding this day, more and more brands are stepping up to offer creative alternatives to sky-high discounts to be more conscious of people and the planet. Continuing from our 'Buy Nothing New' campaign with Raeburn on Black Friday 2021, we decided to continue our partnership this year. Instead of selling garments, we emptied the Raeburn store in Carnaby of all its contents. We invited customers to sell their unwanted clothes to us instead. After authenticating and valuing their garments, our Buy Backers walked away with lighter closets and heavier PayPal accounts, as well as tips on evaluating their current and future wardrobe with a focus on intentionally keeping clothing in rotation and out of landfills for as long as possible. The once-empty store on Marshall Street finished the day with clothes on the rails, now set to be refurbished by us and given a second life.
"We have always had an opposing view of Black Friday - one of restoration and repair," commented Raeburn founder and designer Christopher Raeburn in a press release. "Traditionally, we close the shop on this day to encourage a sustainable mindset: buy less, but better. We have taken that one step further this year by bringing in the Responsible team to educate customers on the proactive steps they can take to make purchases that keep the product in circulation for many years and several new owners."
Our CMO Ciaran Jordan explained “All collected pieces will run through our premium refurbishment process. We will ozone-clean everything and make high-quality repairs, so each piece feels brand new when delivered in minimal, plastic-free packaging to the next customer via our Responsible re-commerce store."
As we leave the frenzied dregs of Black Friday and Christmas shopping behind, start to make conscious decisions about what you want hanging in your closet as we enter into a New Year. For all those once loved clothes gathering dust in your closet, sell them back to us using our Buy Back program so they can be refurbished and given a new lease of life.
Nothing New. Nothing Wasted.
* Source: Building a Circular Economy, Green Alliance, 2019.