It's Black Friday! The shopping holiday loved by Americans, where people queue for hours to buy a computer at half price or that blender you've been eyeing with a 20% discount. Black Friday has become popular enough that it isn't solely an American thing anymore - it's everywhere. But at what cost?
Here, at Daisy, we care about the environment. That's why we have made a commitment to source our paper responsibly and use biodegradable packaging. We also care about people, which is why we have also made a commitment to donate 10% of our profits to charity. Black Friday cares about neither of those things and that's why we won't ever participate in Black Friday Sales.
Black Friday encourages a level of consumerism that creates lots of waste, which due to its sheer amount, is nearly impossible to manage effectively. Toys and electronics are some of the things that most people purchase on Black Friday sales - a massive dump of electronics leads to increase of lead and mercury waste that isn't handled properly and the amount of toys made and sold during Black Friday and Cyber Monday increases plastic production waste to insane levels. We already produce 300 billion tonnes of plastic every year - plastic which is hard to recycle and stays on our planet for too long.
Black Friday also increases carbon emissions tenfold, with pressures to ship products as fast as possible and with consumers trying to score the best deals from multiple outlets. Black Friday indeed.
Lastly, the human cost of these insane discounts is something that doesn't sit right with us. Fast fashion is known for underpaying workers and not providing the safest of working conditions. The amount of demand for cheap garments, which will contribute to mismanaged waste too, has to be met by the workers. But at what cost? Fast fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing are selling clothes for as little as 0.05 pence. Who pays the cost of making such garments? Not the bosses at the shiny British offices, but the workers in factories in Bangladesh or China.
The people who make our notebooks are all paid properly. The illustrators that we collaborate with are all paid properly. As a small business, we don't have the financial power to engage in huge Black Friday discounts. It simply wouldn't be fair.
When you buy from giants like Amazon, you continue to encourage bad business practises that hurt the environment and contribute to the mistreatment of workers. When you buy from a small business, you're not doing that. So, give it a second thought before you decide to splurge this Cyber Weekend. The environment will thank you f or it.