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Black Friday 2021: A new approach

We all know the immense chaos that comes with Black Friday. The typical tradition was for shoppers to go out at midnight, wait in ridiculously long queues at the malls, and some even fight over the last TV — all for the “best deals” ahead of the Christmas season.

In more recent years, especially in a post-pandemic world, the concept of Black Friday has evolved. With over 2.14 billion people shopping online in 2021, brands have more so ditched the in-store sales and have chosen to focus on the hype of their online sales with ecommerce marketing and social ads. It’s no longer dedicated to just one day, we’ve seen brands starting early bird deals WEEKS before the actual BF date. Forget Cyber Monday (I think some of us actually forgot this existed), the world has grown into a true Cyber Month.

As consumers are becoming more concerned about who, what, where, and how their clothes are being made, we saw this year’s Black Friday being used as a platform to address deeper issues in society. The main focus being to stop normalizing overconsumption. With climate change more prominent than ever, consumers are more conscious of the choices they make, and they’re calling on the fashion industry as a whole to make a difference. Check out how these brands have chosen to make a difference this year by approaching Black Friday in their own unique way.

Swedish brand Asket, Dutch rainwear brand Maium, and Canadian beauty company Deciem, will all shut down both their physical and ecommerce stores, as well as countless other brands following in their footsteps. Patagonia was one of the first brands to start this ‘anti-Black Friday’ trend in 2016.

High-quality organic essentials brand Colourful Standard launched their campaign “Do you really need all that?”, addressing the overproduction issues that Black Friday sales create within the industry. The brand took a stand and did not partake in BF, and instead used their platform to educate consumers about the damaging effects of overconsumption.

Activist organisation Fashion Revolution teamed up with several brands and retailers to offer a purchase with a better cause. They donated between 5% and 15% of their sales over the Black Friday weekend to charity, which campaigns for better working conditions for garment workers and a more sustainable fashion industry.

Streetwear brand Raeburn handed over the keys to their new Soho store to resale platform Responsible over the Black Friday weekend. From Friday to Sunday, visitors in the store were able to shop second-hand streetwear as well as sell back their own items in exchange for credit, promoting the concept of circular fashion.

Not only have these brands made a statement to change how the industry operates during this chaotic season, they’re going beyond the norm and creating more than just a sale. These tactics are getting more consumers to think of who to shop with based on their giveback actions, as well as building their brand loyalty at the same time.

So, will your business be approaching next year’s Black Friday with a different mindset?


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