Black Friday is a big event every year, where brands promote the famous weekend with attractive sales around November, generating queues and sometimes brawls between customers.
“Black Friday” was first used by two investors, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, in September 24th, 1869 when they caused a crash in the stock market by increasing the price of gold. This resulted in a stock market decrease of 20%, a cease of the foreign trade and it slashed the price of the farming harvests of that year in half.
By 1924, Thanksgiving parades were very popular which inspired Macy’s to launch its own to celebrate its success during the ‘20s. These parades boosted shopping and by 1950 people began to call in sick the day after Thanksgiving so they could shop. Also, during the ‘50s the police started using the term “Black Friday” for the day in between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy game, where big crowds of people went to Philadelphia, disrupting the traffic. This mass of people travelling to the cities and increased shopping encouraged retailers to offer big discounts only available on that day.
Because accountants use red and black colours to record loss or profit, respectively, on each day of the book entries, the day became known as Black Friday, which is translated to the day retailers see positive earnings, in black, on the book.
Black Friday started in the United States but its popularity extended to other countries, starting an international shopping frenzy where people are ready to buy more unnecessary clothes for bargain prices. Thus, this can pressure brands to compete between each other over better deals, and 2020 was no different, as many thought. Brands competed for the consumer attention with campaigns up to 99% off and with dresses priced at only £0.8.
Consequently, this created criticism and backlash on social media, raising the question: how are factory workers paid fairly, when the prices of each garment are so low?
Companies keep advocating for a fair and ethical supply chain, promising solutions and plans to tackle the problems, however low product prices cast doubts on this commitment.
As consumers we also have the responsibility to advocate for fair production and therefore ask ourselves: what are the priorities of this brand? The assurance of excessive consumption or the commitment of an ethical production?
To win the consumer’s favour it is not enough to have a good product, it also should be how brands can align with their personal values. By buying a product we are not only enjoying it, but we are also supporting a company where we agree with their social and environmental values. Ethical and sustainable brands have their core in the production process and final product.
Changing our habits as shoppers will have consequences on other people’s lives and on the environmental. So next time you see a really good bargain, think twice!
MABI swimwear believes that fashion can be beautiful, fair and sustainable, having the powerful ability to let us dream. MABI is a brand with a purpose, and we are committed to protect what we love 💚