Sea and waves

Absolute garbage: Public Fibre ‘sells rubbish’ to raise ocean clean-up funds

Fashion collective Public Fibre has spent the weekend encouraging consumers to “buy more rubbish this Black Friday”, as part of an environmental awareness stunt.

The online house of brands, comprising companies purporting to operate with a green agenda, created a “Rubbish” category on its website for the so-called ‘Cyber Weekend’ period, which ends today (30 November). Items listed included empty plastic bottles, face masks, and plastic wrappers.

Each item, described by Public Fibre as the “top ten ocean polluters”, had a price. If consumers opted to ‘purchase’ them, the respective fees went straight to The Ocean Cleanup, an organisation committed to removing rubbish from the world’s seas.

“Are we really going to send you a piece of rubbish? No, of course we are not,” the retail group said on its website.

“But we saw Black Friday as an opportunity to do something good.”

It added that 100% of the proceeds raised from the initiative would go to The Ocean Cleanup, urging consumers to “feel good, buy more rubbish”.

Public Fibre, which includes brands such as Halley, Haeckels, and Arlo Hudson on its pages, operates with the mantra “don’t compromise today for tomorrow”, and it says that each of the products curated on its site have been assessed on several eco credentials. It pays attention to a brand’s production processes, the materials used in manufacturing, packaging policy, and disposal options before selecting it as part of the collective.

It is one of an increasing number of purpose-driven retail businesses, putting environmental impact questioning at the heart of its operations.

This Black Friday period appears to have prompted more retailers than in previous years to talk up their green credentials, or make eco commitments in return for sales. Green Retail World has listed several on these pages in recent days, including Joules, Allbirds, and Ella’s Kitchen.

‘Green Friday’ as an alternative to Black Friday has gained momentum in 2020, with retailers keen to raise awareness of excessive consumerism while clearly still wanting to drive sales after a tumultuous year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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