Today is the 29th of November 2019 – black Friday. At this occasion we would like to ask you a question: How was the turkey?
What? You will tell me, no turkey yesterday, not celebration of Thanksgiving, you do not live in the US and this is not a holiday you celebrate? But shopping on Black Friday? Sorry but let’s have a closer look on black Friday, where this event comes from and why Bag Affair does not take part in it.
So first of all what is Black Friday?
The records say that the day after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated last Thursday of November has been called Black Friday first time in the early 1960s. It has been given for the first day of the year retailers make “black” instead of “red” numbers, mean make profit. Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season and shopping starts for Christmas. Special offers are made around this season to push sales.
There is a second theory behind referring to the traffic of this day. As Thanksgiving is held on a Thursday each year, many US citizens visit their families and take off Friday to have a long weekend together. Black associated to negative events, tragedies and catastrophes was used to describe the crazy situations of people moving around the country this day, causing traffic jams. Black has been though attributed to this day in a more humorous sense.
There is another Black Friday, which is Friday, September 24, 1869. The gold held by the government was offered for sale, overloading the gold market and leading to decreasing prices following President Ulysses S. Grant’s decision.
Black Friday is about low prices and sales
So in the end it means that Black Friday are promotions after Thanksgiving to push sales before Christmas. For many years in a rather reasonable way and only in the USA. But it started to get crazy in the 2000s. Retailers first opened earlier like 6 in the morning, following years at 4 or 5 and in 2011 big US retailers opened even at midnight! This did not only cause a big questioning of the Black Friday but did call as well for many legal institutions to fight for better workers’ rights. Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit now to open stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving to protect their workers.
People do not only need to work at hours which are extremely tiring, since 2006 there are at least 12 people dead and 117 injured as the mass of people wanting to get into stores was too big.
And last but not least Black Friday is dangerous for our planet as it pushed to unreasonable sales of products you do not really need, overconsumption and production and products being thrown away closely after being bought.
Black Friday in France
As you know Bag Affair is based in Brittany in France – over 7000 km away from the USA. But still be have Black Friday here as in many other European countries. But why?
We do not celebrate Thanksgiving- and why should we. Thanksgiving is celebrating the harvest season and being thankful which was first celebrated by pilgrims in 1621. It is a truly American event.
But we have Black Friday sales all over. All started in around 2010. It started with Amazon and other pure online retailers who made discounts at this day. Initiated by the biggest online retailer worldwide, bade in the USA: Amazon. Amazon is neither respecting employees laws, is throwing away articles which have no default and though we get crazy about discounts they offer. The success of their purely commercial idea did get more and more brands to follow their example. And the real boom of the Black Friday in France started 2014.
Even though France has defined periods of sales, the retailers love the idea to sell more and more on Black Friday and over the years nearly all types of resellers joined in. Today you can find discounts on food, furniture, electronics, but as well on cars, isolation for houses or other technical items. You can even – and sorry here it gets completely out of sense- get a bank loan with a Black Friday offer. Banks all over France, to name some: Credit Agricole, Caisse Epargne, Banque Populaire and Banque Francaise Mutualiste ; offer Black Friday deals. You can get more money from them to assure to spend it on unreasonable shopping during Black Friday. What we expect is to have a bank we can trust, to feel save and assured and all they do is assuring that we will get you into dept.
In short: Black Friday is all over the place. You will be spilled with emails, SMS and messages for special offers and what for- to assure that you will buy, no matter why or what. This is why we say NO to Black Friday.
MAKE FRIDAY GREEN AGAIN
Bag Affair stands for ethical and fair production we produce only in Europe with European materials we know the people behind and we want to know what is going on. We produce products made to last and bags made to stay with you for many years. Discounts, fast fashion and offer to push the consumption are against out ethical values. Buy quality and buy less, chose well what you buy and say no to products where you do not know how they are made.
With the Slogan over 700 French brands did join the community of Faguo, assuring their customers not to take part in the Black Friday craziness. To call everyone to think before buying and maybe better to tidy up your dressing to realize what is in there what you do not need anymore.
The textile sector is not only a sector that pollutes a lot since
manufacturing (around 10,000 liters water for jeans) and emits a lot of CO2
because often manufactured on the other side of the world, it is also a sector
that creates a lot of waste.
On average each person in France buys 20 kg of textile per year. This represents almost 624,000 tons sold in France every year. In 15 years, production and sales in this sector have doubled. 30% of clothes never go out, 60% of French people have clothes they have never worn. “According to Eco TLC, 239,000 tons are collected: 99.6% of them are reused or transformed, of which 58.6% are reused in the state, 41% are recycled or recovered (10% in rags, 22% for fibers, 6% fraying, 8% transformed into solid fuels recovery and 0.4% eliminated with energy recovery). Only 0.4% is not valued! “. This means that the equivalent of almost 38% of the annual quantity purchased is discarded. This is what qualifies the “fast fashion”, buy and consume quickly and then get rid of it. It’s like fast food, neither good for health nor good for the planet.
Since April 2019 Bag Affair is hosted and accompanied at the incubator of Brest Business School. The two founders made their 2013 Master’s degree at BBS and are now back to accelerate the development of their ethical bags brand. As during their studies, they can also now count on the support of the school and its team. And so came the idea of an ethical week: from 25 to 29 November students have been encouraged to think and learn about ethical fashion in several formats:
• Tidy up your wardrobe instead of buying! – Under this slogan students as Brest Business School staff are invited to tidy up their dressing room and give the clothes in good condition instead of going to buy on Black Friday. Several places of deposit have been made available. The garments collected will be donated to COLLECTE REFUGIES Pays de Brest, which helps around sixty people at the Pradha – Guipavas.
• Get informed about ethical fashion! -What is ethical fashion? How to buy better? What are the consequences of fast fashion? These and other questions will be addressed through posters, quizzes and video and short film viewing sessions.
Think before purchase. If you wanted something since a long time and on Black Friday it is at a price you can allow yourself to buy it, do so. But do not go in the city just to search for special offers. These discounts are often created for this day and product prices are modified to make it look like a good buy. Be reasonable, tidy up your wardrobe and you will see that you already have a lot.
And not to forget that Amazon did bring to us as well the “Cyber Monday” a Monday with special offers following Thanksgiving- sometimes extended to a cyber week. Buy more, think less. Like Halloween or Valentine’s Day, like Singles day from China and other special offers- all made to make you consume more.
Think before buying! Do not just buy because something has a special price on it or a big discount! Buy if you need something, but still ask the question where it comes from and how it was made. Buy less, but better! – The most sustainable item is the one you already have.