Designer Brand Backlash on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Sustainable fashion brand Tom Cridland is one of several designers to turn his back on heavy discounting during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017. This time last year Tom saw his biggest two days of sales to date and yet morally it didn’t feel right. Tom stated:
“I run a sustainable fashion brand and, despite the fact that last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two of the biggest day’s worth of sales we’ve had thus far, we are making a point of not participating this year. I think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are actually incredibly damaging to independent retail businesses and undermine a growing shift towards sustainability.”
Tom and his girlfriend, Debs Marx, started their sustainable fashion brand with just a small government start-up loan in 2014, when they were both 23. Tom Cridland is now a Fortune Magazine Cool Company, listed on the Sustainia100 and has customers on every continent. The brand ethos centres on handcrafted quality and designs that are made to last.
Like many up and coming brands Tom and his team initially felt a lot of pressure to constantly run flash sales and regularly discount stock as part of their marketing campaign. However, ethically it seemed out of line with the company’s core ethos, and in fact a recent survey conducted among 50,000 of Tom’s customers revealed it was actually having a negative affect.
Tom continues to back up his anti Black Friday / Cyber Monday stance by listing these key points:
– As the fashion industry is now the world’s second most polluting, it is imperative that consumers are encouraged to buy less and buy better, more durable clothing.
– Encouraging exorbitant discounting that is only really profitable for brands either making clothing unethically or looking to clear unwanted stock, results in people buying clothes for the sake of it and increases the chances that those garments will join the millions of tonnes of clothing that end up in landfill every year.
– It also has a huge impact on consumer buying habits in the run up to Christmas, obviously a crucial retail period. If a family’s entire budget has been used buying discounted things, there will be a significantly reduced customer base for brands with lower margins, higher quality and a more transparent ethos.
(Images top to bottom: Tom Cridland, his shop in London and his Christmas jumper with a 30-Year Guarantee)
As a mini “protest” to Black Friday and Cyber Monday culture, and with Christmas fast approaching Tom Cridland has just designed the world’s first ever Christmas jumper with a 30-Year Guarantee to demonstrate that his brand does care about the materials, style and durability of a garment. It combines technology, beautiful Italian fabric and old school craftsmanship to ensure it lasts a lifetime – a true antithesis to the needless cycle of consumption and waste that exists all over the world at Christmas.
Tom concludes: “We would encourage all independent brands to join us in considering whether devaluing their designs with huge discounts is something we should all really be participating in any more, just because it has recently become a ‘tradition’.”