Black Friday, the busiest day in the retail calendar, is fast approaching – preceded by weeks of preparation and hype, followed directly by Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping and January sales.
The goal of it all, not to put too fine a point on it, is to sell as much stuff as humanly possible, whatever the cost. So prices are cut in a race to the bottom, while the planet, as though left to make up the difference, pays an even higher price than usual.
Black Friday sounds somewhat apocalyptic for a day we are told to look forward to, but the doom-laden overtones are entirely appropriate: it’s a perfect example of the unchecked consumption that’s leading us to the brink of environmental disaster. Surfdome isn’t exempt from responsibility in this, of course. We partake in the frenzy along with everyone else, and wouldn’t survive in today’s marketplace if we didn’t. Surely, though, there must be a better way of doing business.
Green Friday isn’t somehow going to “offset” the negative impact of Black Friday, nor is it the solution to the much wider problems we face as a sector and as a society. But it may point the way to one.
Throughout the year we donate 1% of all proceeds from Patagonia sales to our partner charities, Protect Our Winters UK and #2MinuteBeachClean – that’s on top of the 1% that Patagonia, whose founder Yvonne Chouinard helped kickstart the 1% for the Planet movement, already gives to environmental causes. In the run-up to Black Friday, we plan to redouble our efforts.
We’ll be donating an additional 1% of sales from every Friday leading up to Black Friday, starting this week on Friday 30th October. It’s not much, but it’s a start – next year, we hope to be able to do more, and perhaps one day Green Friday will supplant Black Friday for good.