There are several retailers thinking more about celebrating a Green Friday in 2021 rather than the sales and discount-heavy Black Friday, which takes place tomorrow (26 November).
We reported last year that there was growing momentum behind Green Friday, as retailers rallied against the manic sales period and rampant consumerism associated with the US post-Thanksgiving export that is Black Friday.
A significant number of retailers continue to run Black Friday campaigns, with the likes of Currys, Gymshark and Decathlon all expecting to drive sales via discounts on a range of products, but Green Retail World picks out five retailers adopting more of a Green Friday message in 2021.
2021 marks the third year of furniture retailer Sofology’s Green Friday message. The idea is not to sell more sofas or drive sales per se, according to James Robinson, head of conversation rate optimisation at the retailer, it is more to do with business reputation and brand image.
Talking at the Data Summit, hosted by e-tail trade body IMRG in September, Robinson explained how the Sofology Green Friday concept has evolved from planting trees on behalf of every customer to launching additional eco products and services.
“Going back a few years when Black Friday picked up we were trying to put a message out saying we’re not doing discounts but all of our pricing represents value,” he explained.
“For Green Friday it was talking about the quality and the value of the product but also introducing the concept of planting a tree for every sofa order. That went really well for us so for 2020 we actually extended the tree planting for every order [all year].”
Robinson continued: “We added a couple of strands – our first eco sofa, Pioneer, which is made from recycled material and is also recyclable. We also introduced Sofa Rescue – a way of picking up and collecting a sofa in the house, taking it away and disposing of it in an environmentally friendly way.”
According to Robinson, the Green Friday concept fits the “low pressure” sales environment Sofology says it has long adopted, and the initiative has apparently received an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” from customers. The messaging is clearly visible in store and online this year.
Ikea has been vocal in calling on consumers to purchase more responsibly and make people think about the environmental impact of overconsumption.
And during Black Friday week, the furniture retailer’s UK arm is increasing – by 20% – the amount its Family Membership holders can receive from returning used items through its recently launched furniture buy back initiative.
The inflated buy back fees can be accessed by those selling back furniture to Ikea in the ten days up to 29 November.
Specialist footwear retailer Vivobarefoot has recently introduced repair and resale options for its customers, and it is veering well clear of any Black Friday discounting in 2021.
“Going cold turkey on Black Friday isn’t a flash in the pan for us,” the company’s LinkedIn page said this week.
“We’re certified by B Corp UK and this means we have a legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. So, while some companies are happy to spin the numbers (or make stuff up), we very much have to walk our talk.”
Vivobarefoot is asking its customers to back “re-use, re-sale and re-newed Vivos this Black Friday – and beyond”, pointing people in the direction of its re-sale and repair platform, ReVivo. It added that 20,000 customers have repaired more than 31,000 pairs of Vivo shoes since the service was launched, suggesting this has helped avert many items ending up in landfill sites.
Outside equipment brand Montane is donating to “Fix the Fells” this Black Friday, with the company donating its Black Friday marketing budget to causes helping protect the Lake District.
Montane will donate its £2,500 budget to Fix the Fells, an organisation based in the Lake District dedicated to protecting the local landscapes from erosion. The payment will go towards helping support efforts in tackling the problem of repairing and maintaining a network of 344 upland paths, covering circa 410 miles, according to Montane’s blog.
Matt Hickman, global marketing manager at Montane, said: “The popularity of the paths in the Lake District for hillwalkers, fell runners, and ultra-races coupled with unpredictable weather has led to severe erosion on the fells.
“If there weren’t initiatives like Fix the Fells in place, then much-loved outdoor spaces such as these soon wouldn’t exist.”
Outdoor retailer and activist business Patagonia already pledges 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, but this holiday season its dotcom website has a prominent behavioural message to consumers.
“This holiday season, consider passing along cherished gear,” it states.
“Share beta with friends; repair their favourite jacket; donate to good causes. If you buy new, there are some things you can choose: Fair Trade, recycled, organic—multifunctional, too.”
The message stands out as adopting quite a different tone to much of the retailer Black Friday discount statements found on the wider web.
[Image credit: Green Retail World]