CLOSING OUR DOORS THIS BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY

With November bridging the gap between Halloween and Christmas, many will rejoice at the fact that 2021 is starting to come to an end. Even more are looking forward to the sales. Yes, that’s right. We’re talking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of all the things the United States has given us; Brad Pitt, hamburgers  and how not to run a healthcare system, we could have done without Black Friday.

By now, your inbox will likely have been flooded with emails enticing you to keep an eye out for spectacular, one of a kind, never before seen deals that you ironically also read about this time last year. Or, you might have received an email from us. Leading you right here. To this blog.

ITS PURPOSE?

To let you know we will not be participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our online store will be shut on the 26th & 29th of November. Literally. Shut. Gone. 

 

BUT WHY?

Because our core brand values have always centred around sustainability, ethical production, and mindful purchasing. To take part would do a disservice to our product and our customers. Shutting our online store isn’t a novelty or token action, it resonates true with everything we’ve been working on for years. Sustainable and considered purchasing runs throughout the entire model of our company – it’s integral to the way we work.  

THE IMPACT OF BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY & RETAIL HYSTERIA

The intensity at which these sales are promoted plays into consumer psychology and encourages consumers to buy more than what they really need at a scale that cannot be sustained. Brands feel pressure to participate in these sale frenzies in fear of missing the opportunity to capitalise on peaked consumer hype. The result... is endless cycle of demand, production, and consumption. Ethical and sustainable brands in particular have struggled to navigate this period of mass retail hysteria without compromising their values.

MIA FRATINO is a slow fashion brand. What is particularly alarming to us about Black Friday & Cyber Monday is the catastrophic effects it has on our environment. What in theory sounds like a bit of retail therapy has an adverse effect when it’s amplified on such a large scale. Condense this all into a ‘day’ of extreme sales and you have intense retail hysteria. That’s not an exaggeration, people have been injured and even killed during these sale frenzies[1].

THE PROOF IS IN THE PROVERBIAL PUDDING

Gumtree’s Second Hand Economy Report[2] (2019) uncovered that over 90% of Australian households had unwanted or unused items in their home. That’s not to say all these unwanted items were purchased on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but it indicates how much of a consumerist culture we are a part. Australians alone buy an average of 27kg of new clothes a year while throwing 23kg away and we are second only to the United States when it comes to consumption[3].

So where do all these unwanted and discarded items go if they aren’t recycled? Landfill or the ocean. Or both. We discard over 800,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles each year[4] and those items that aren’t recycled, resold or able to be repurposed head straight to landfill. It’s not just clothing that ends up here, it’s the excess packaging used during this period as well as items that are predominantly made of plastic. Alarmingly, over 91% of products purchased on Black Friday or Cyber Monday do not end up being recycled and end up in landfill[5]. For items that don’t naturally break down (like us when we’re stressed out) they end up releasing harmful carbon emissions, affecting our air, land, and oceans.

WE'RE STAYING OUT OF THE FAST LANE OF FAST FASHION

Fast fashion can be particularly appealing due to its low price and ability to produce on trend items in the quickest time possible. This period of peak consumerism is often used to produce even more clothing to keep up with the demand. However, it’s the way this clothing is produced (a mix of toxic chemicals, unethical working conditions, and increased usage of fresh water) that ends up contributing to the pollution of our planet. When you amplify this kind of production tenfold to make as much profit as possible from flash sale events, you’re increasing the detrimental effects it has on our environment. 

SO WHAT IS SLOW FASHION

Slow fashion takes the opposite approach to fast fashion brands. It encourages the conscious purchasing of high-quality, ethically made, long-lasting garments and favours repair rather than replacement. As opposed to following high-street trends, slow fashion focuses on timeless, classic styles

So, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have you feeling like you’re getting more bang for your buck, there is always a price to pay… and it often comes in the form of our environment. That’s why we’ll be sitting this one out. Instead of adding to the noise we’re sending out a signal. For those who will be shopping, remember: it’s not about resisting the urge to buy, its about resisting the urge to buy in excess. Practice mindful purchasing and be a part of slowing down the sale mentality.

Buy Less, Choose Well

Sources
  1. Black Friday Injuries Data
  2. Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report 
  3. Textile Waste & How To Reduce It
  4. The Effects of Black Friday
November 23, 2021 — Cat Douglas