Black Friday: The best discounts at what cost?

20 November 2023

Black Friday: The best discounts at what cost?

Black Friday: The best discounts at what cost?

And what's back, always with the same premise - getting irresistible deals? You guessed it, Black Friday. Or Black Days. Or Black Week. Or Black Month. In short, there are many names for the (same and increasingly early) promises of unmissable discounts just a few weeks before Christmas. But are they really worth it?


What is Black Friday?

Black Friday, a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm, has become an annual spectacle of irresistible offers and a real shopping rush. It is known that the first edition took place in the 1960s in Philadelphia, USA, and that the term - Black Friday - was used by traffic police officers to describe the huge crowds that created traffic jams as they tried to reach the stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving to start their Christmas shopping.

Today, Black Friday is even bigger, with the arrival of E-commerce and its faithful companion Cyber Monday.


The Real Consequences of Black Friday

First things First - Environmental Impact

It's no secret that the fashion industry, particularly fast fashion, is one of the industries that pollutes and exploits the most. You can imagine what happens on Black Friday: everything gets worse. Excessive consumption leads to more products being manufactured and shipped all over the world. So you won't be surprised if we tell you that the carbon footprint during Black Friday increases accordingly, right?


But Black Friday is not all about mass production and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Waste generation and the exploitation of natural resources are also on the list. And we'll tell you more:

Did you know that there are electronic and technological products that are produced just for this time of year, designed to have a limited lifespan? The result: We are encouraged to replace them frequently.


Did you know that up to 80% of Black Friday purchases are thrown away after one or no use?


Social Impact of Black Friday


There is no Planet B, we can't stress that enough. However, Black Friday doesn't just have an impact on the planet we live on. It also affects us all, starting with the workers who produce the goods we buy.


At this time of year, store workers face long working hours, dealing with the intense consumer demand. This results in extreme tiredness and affects their quality of life. In addition, the pressure workers feel to meet customer expectations and sales targets can create a stressful and competitive working environment, affecting their mental health. To make matters worse, we add the fact that brands outsource labor to countries where pennies are paid, depriving workers of access to a decent wage and safe working conditions, trapping them in an inhumane cycle of poverty.


It's not just respect for workers that is lacking at this time of year. It's also the ethics of some companies. Did you know that there are companies that have been caught raising prices before Black Friday and then offering apparently significant discounts?


In short, we are all part of the problem and all part of the solution. That's why we're #NOBLACKFRIDAY


Why we are No Black Friday

We are aware that while for many people consumption during Black Friday is unbridled, for many others it is the only opportunity they have to buy things they really need. We also believe that pointing the finger at those who buy on Black Friday doesn't help and in some cases can even inflame opinions. What we propose is that we look at each of us individually and ask ourselves whether Black Friday is really worth it. And let's make our own choices, without judgment.


We chose to be #NOBLACKFRIDAY because we support a more balanced and conscious approach to shopping, promoting more sustainable options, durable products and greener alternatives.


Share your choices and motivations with us.


Have a great day, NAE Team

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