...and why we're doubling our prices between Black Friday 2020 and Cyber Monday 2020!
The old model of selling more and more at cheaper and cheaper rates is simply outdated. The fashion industry's fast fashion model made the clothing industry one of the main contributors to climate change and the second biggest polluter of drinking water.
Apart from a few die-hard climate conspirators the majority of people are already feeling the effects of climate change or are aware of the implications that it will have in the years to follow.
Black Friday offers big opportunities for every brand and year over year new records in sales are reported. In 2019 a reported $7.4 billion was spent by shoppers in the US alone.
Countries like Germany that often call themselves "recycling champions" are recycling less than 20% of their plastics and more than 10% are exported (among others to Indonesia or Vietnam) according to a study of Conversio.
It is true that Black Friday and Cyber Mondays offer income-constrainted families to buy what they sometimes need and sometimes really really want. This is not what we're opposing.
We're opposing buying stuff that we did not really want or need in the first place but the price dropped so ridiculiously low that we buy it: "It's so cheap - why not?!"
With that comes a price that is often unknown as it does not directly affect us:
Really cheap products lead to really cheap production costs or big losses for corporates. Really cheap production means that both the workers are usually underpaid and the materials unsustainable.
Why do you think that big brands are not transparent about their production?
"The Pulse of the Fashion Industry" is a good and at the same time sad snapshot of the big brands' conscience.
This year's Black Friday will be different
If someone predicted 2020 the way it turned out to be we would have called this person insane. Well some still call the person insane who predicted it a few years back but that's a different story.
Retailers and brands like Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, Muji USA, G Star, J.C. Penney have struggled. Many of the retailers with physical locations will follow. The Corona related lockdowns have certainly been the main driver of the decline - which I argue has only accelerated a trend that has started before.
As a result from the Corona lockdown shock many brands sold less and have enormous stocks available to make some much-needed cash.
Online shopping has mostly had a boost and is on the rise. Against public opinion not all is bad about that. Online shopping democratizes customer access and allows new brands to do things differently. More and more brands are spending more on the product and are still able to offer their products cheaper than offline by cutting out the middlemen.
In the traditional fashion industry the "middlemen" have led to an average of six dollars for every dollar spent on producing a shirt. That means that a shirt of $ 60 has on average costed less than $10 in production.
In our case spending a lot on materials and production would lead to prices well above 200€ (or USD) if we would sell in traditional retail (we partner up with a few selected boutiques to build our brand - which is marketing rather than generating profits).
"Black Friday: An offer you can't refuse?"
There will be offers that are just so tempting it's hard to say no and some actually make sense to be honest.
A good way to cut down on buying stuff that we don't need asking two questions before clicking the "buy now" button help:
1. Will I really need this or is this clutter and I am buying it because it's cheap?
2. In case I need it: Will I get the cheapest version or am I able to pay a little premium to get a product that lasts for longer?
Buy cheap, buy twice
It's an old saying that has hardly lost any of its relevance. Buying 2-3 cheap shirts each year and replacing them the year after can actually be quite expensive.
Especially taking into account the quality that one is wearing in this time (let alone the environmental footprint given one cotton shirt requires thousands of liters of water among others).
Buying quality and keeping it for years can end up being cheaper and it definitely feels very different while wearing.
Unfortunately, the implication of buying good stuff if it's just expensive enough does not work either.
So we sometimes need to rely on friends, family, tests, reviews, celebrities, magazines and so on - especially when we're increasing online shopping and cannot touch the product.
So what's the deal with Faros Linen shirts?
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday all our shirts will double in prices. The additional profits will go to worldwide water projects that we already support with each sale.
While this will certainly harm our sales we want to join more and more conscious consumer brands that oppose competing on low prices.
Those brands pay fair wages to its workers, use high quality materials, care about the company's footprint and are offering a fair price all year around.
8 conscious brands that don't participate in discounts with alternative Black Friday campaigns #OptOut
In an increasingly successful attempt to accelerate consumption on Black Friday with large discounts a few brands are starting to oppose the spending craze and counter with creative ideas to do good instead of money.
Patagonia "Don't Buy This Jacket"
A lighthouse (in our brand's DNA) initiative to oppose Black Friday's excessive shopping behaviors was certainly Patagonia's "Don't Buy This Jacket" campaign which was printed in The New York Times.
It's quite a statement to advertise not to buy ones products.
Copyright: Patagonia, Inc.
Patagonia inspired a wave of more and more brands around the world to oppose Black Friday's consumer excesses.
Buckle & Seam
Buckle & Seam's "Give or save" allows their customers to either benefit from their Black Fridays specials or pledge the discount to send more girls to school in Pakistan.
The Berlin-based company manufactures high-end leather bags in Pakistan and builds schools with their profits.
Noah a well-known menswear brand from New York decided to close their retails stores on Black Friday - missing out on profits in order to do the right thing.
Deciem's "Shop Slow" campaign aims at consuming consciously. The skincare brand shuts their webshop and their stores' doors on Black Friday for a "moment of nothingness" in a world with increasingly accelerated shopping.
The outdoor clothing & gear brand encourages its customers to opt out of shopping and much rather spend the day outside enjoying nature.
Kotn, a Canada-based and Egypt-producing essentials-brand donates all profits made between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to build two primary schools in the Nile Delta and Faiyum, Egypt where its cotton is farmed.
French-based sustainable clothing Faguo gathered 450 brands around the world to turn Black Friday into Green Friday.
The Swiss-based upcycled bag maker Freitag (German for Friday) kept its online shop closed on Black Friday - which is not just a strong sign against overconsumption. Their brand name is German for Friday - and literally translates to free day as well.
There are more and more brands joining in what some call the "Anti-Black-Friday". Let us know of more brands in the comments and give those a voice that are sacrificing profits for a greater good.