BLACK FRIDAY : The Dark Side

Published 26th of November, 2020

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA! For many, this means the start of the holiday season, family time, lots of delicious food, and the best time to get start on Christmas shopping.  

What Is Black Friday? 

Thanksgiving and the few days after it – particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday – mark the start of Christmas shopping, and are some of the busiest shopping days of the year; despite being linked to Thanksgiving, this "tradition" has spilled over into the UK and Europe. Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to be great ways to save money on those Christmas “essentials” and gifts, as well as give people the opportunity to upgrade their electronics, wardrobes, and toys for their kids. Many think they are especially useful for low income families, who otherwise might not be able to afford things thought of as essentials (including clothing, mobile phones and laptops for example), and even a few luxuries.

But as you might expect, if you’re of a more cynical disposition, Black Friday is in no way designed to help less fortunate consumers, but rather help along mass consumerism culture! By putting a time limit on seemingly great deals, they encourage people to spontaneously buy things they never thought they wanted and to buy far more than they actually need. Plus, once they get customers in the shop (be it a a physical shop or online) with the lure of a ridiculously cheap big-screen TV for example, retailers know that customers will most likely come out with far more than just that!

What's The Problem With Black Friday?

  •  Black Friday encourages rampant consumerism
    Even though you might start with a specific purchase in mind, it is almost guaranteed you’ll come out with more than you thought you wanted or needed. You might even end up “upgrading” items like clothes and electronics, because of the "great deals", even though the ones you have don’t need upgrading.
  • Black Friday creates more waste
    Packaging waste is a problem for all commercial enterprises these days, but Black Friday/Cyber Monday are particularly impactful when it comes to increased waste. Tying into the first point, people buy more than they need or want, which automatically comes with more packaging. On top of this, they are more likely to throw away items that are in good working order, as they were able to buy better ones for “such great prices”.
  • Black Friday creates more greenhouse gases
    Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals often come with one or two day shipping, which actually increases a product/purchase’s carbon footprint, as shipping systems become less efficient and more vehicles have to be on the road at one time in order to fulfil the many orders in diverse locations.
  • Covid-19 specific concerns
    Specific to this year, most countries in the world have spent most of 2020 trying to contain a pandemic of a disease that, while it has little effect on many people, has proven to be deadly for some. That means that the crowds in shops on Black Friday, may give extra impulse to the second wave of infections, that is currently happening in the UK and across Europe and the US. 
black and yellow black friday sale sign in a store window

What Does Black Friday Mean For Arms of Andes?

The other thing about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is that they really highlight the massive mark-ups that many companies put on their goods. If a company can sell lots of items at 50 to 70% of their normal retail prices, without taking a real hit, that just shows how much it actually costs to make or procure the goods they are selling. On the other hand, at Arms of Andes, most of the price of our products is made up of the costs of raw materials, manufacturing, and shipping. Currently, we spend almost no money on marketing, relying on organic search and word of mouth. So what you pay for your clothes is pretty much as close to the base cost as it can be: if we slashed our prices like other online retailers, we wouldn’t last until Christmas!

However, to help welcome you to join our journey and get to know our brand, we’re offering a 5% discount on all purchases during Friday, November 27th, which will be applied automatically to your shopping cart.