Why we won't be participating in Black Friday

3 years ago Posted by: skinflint Sustainability

Celebrating the unique, classic, and highly-engineered vintage lights that we salvage and repair - and preserving their heritage for future use - is at the core of what we do here at skinflint. The mass consumption that comes with Black Friday simply isn’t in line with our ethos, or our efforts working towards becoming B Corp certified. So this year we are once again making a stand and turning our backs on Black Friday, encouraging you to buy nothing, repair and make it a #GreenFriday instead. Here’s why...

Hyper-consumerism doesn’t add up for our climate
Offering insight into how we source our vintage lights, skinflint co-founder Chris Miller, says: “The key driver for our business is the environment - we can’t go on the way we have been producing and consuming for the last 100 years.” And it’s not just our business making these bold statements of fact. Put bluntly back in 2008, the European Commision said “the way we produce, use and dispose of goods is unsustainable and is rapidly depleting our planet’s natural resources”.

Black Friday makes a statement about who you are
There’s no denying the power that consumption and hyper-consumerism hold over us. Pressure from companies and society to continuously buy for non-functional purposes all work to make us believe that the value of these goods shape our identity and our place in the world. How society views production and consumption matters, and how individuals choose to purchase objects matters. However, you do have power! Your Black Friday pounds make a statement about who you are & what you believe. You can use your wallet to vote against hyper-consumerism.

Shop local and independent
Current capitalism and our product market relies on fast consumerism, globalisation, and exploitation of cheap labour. It doesn’t expect products to last for more than a couple of years, and Black Friday only exaggerates things. Mindless buying and “shop ‘till you drop” attitude encouraged by heavy discounting devalues the personal skill, craftsmanship, and the time invested in, and required, to make high-quality, long-lasting, sustainable goods. So instead of being swayed by price and the number of products that you can fit in your basket, choose to support local independent businesses instead, buying a one-off quality item that you or your loved ones really need, which in turn also benefits your local community, economy, and the environment.

Quality time well spent
It may sound cliché, but for us at skinflint, in our time-strapped and often frantic modern-day lives, the time running up to Christmas is about spending quality time with our friends and family. It’s an opportunity to give thanks for what we do have, while keeping in mind those who are less fortunate, and for reflecting back on the year just passed. When we do find time, we’ll be looking at ways to use our precious hours making, repairing, and doing quality activities with the ones we love. All of which can, depending on your choices, have more meaning and low impact on our planet.

Supporting the ‘Right to Repair’ Bill
Unfortunately, more often than not, it is cheaper to replace than repair, with many consumer goods deliberately designed not to be fixed. However businesses, consumers and legislation are changing. Along with the launch of our Full Circle promise to buy-back and repair your skinflint lights, this summer the UK government decided to keep a promise to implement EU rules giving consumers the right to repair the goods they buy. Given the nature of our business restoring vintage lights, this is obviously something we have been championing and passionately supporting. By extending the lifespan of our belongings, we reduce their environmental impact and at the same time increase the emotional attachment we have with them - win, win. Which is why this Christmas we’re asking you to join us and...

Repair and mend instead
At skinflint HQ we’ve been discussing what we’ll be doing as a team to lessen the impact of Black Friday. Rosy, our Product Engineer, is going to give a loved piece of clothing some TLC and take part in a darning workshop to save her favourite jumper. Sarah, our Marketing Coordinator, has plans to paint and upcycle an old wooden chest of drawers for nursery. Yasmin, our Sales and Marketing Assistant, will be spending the weekend learning to use a sewing machine to re-upholster her sofa cushions. And Chris our director will be in his garden doing some much-needed weeding and repairing of flower beds. We can't wait.

How will you be saying no to Black Friday?