As the Black Friday hype reaches fever-pitch, companies around the world are encouraging consumers to buy more than they will ever need. What began as an opportunity to purchase cheap electronic items has morphed into a global shopping event which has devastating consequences for workers, small businesses and the environment.
As a result, most ethical brands choose not to participate in Black Friday. The brands we sell at 69b do amazing things for people and the planet, not just on Black Friday but every day of the year.
Ecoalf was founded by Javier Goyeneche ten years ago when he realised the level of destruction we are causing to our planet, particularly through plastic waste. Ecoalf use innovative technology to create jackets, shoes and clothing from post-consumer waste material.
For Black Friday this year Ecoalf collaborated with spoken word poet Probably Tomfoolery to create this beautiful poem about Black Friday:
Pala not only make sunglasses with great environmental credentials, but they also work towards helping the 1.2 billion people worldwide who have poor eyesight because they are unable to afford basic surgery or access to glasses. Pala work with Vision Aid Overseas to provide grants that enable communities to buy equipment and to provide vision support. They also work alongside a Kenyan based NGO supporting weaving communities to make the protective cases that come with each pair of sunglasses, which are woven using traditional techniques.
This year instead of Black Friday, Pala. have produced a film celebrating the people who make their sunglasses cases:
Spanish brand Thinking Mu have promised to never have a sale event again. They believe boycotting Black Friday (and discounting in general) is an act of consciousness - they want brands to produce responsibly, and consumers to buy what they need. They believe this pretty strongly, which is why the video is age restricted.
North London based Pivot not only makes beautiful pieces of jewelry using brass, silver and acetate, they are also a force for good. Pivot is a social enterprise that provides training for people in North London who have found themselves homeless or on the streets. Not only do they offer support, but they teach them jewelry making skills that will help them to find employment.
At 69b Boutique we will not be participating in Black Friday, and this year the team have decided to donate all of our profits from sales on Black Friday November 27th to Cyber Monday on the 30th November to Hackney Food Bank. Demand for food bank services in our Borough has more than doubled since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March, and additional costs like winter fuel, and increasing unemployment will place further pressure on already tight budgets.