Millions of shoppers wait in line for hours on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ready to burst through the doors of retail chains and fight over who can get the best deal. As humans, we are better than this.
We have chosen to follow a growing number of companies in an effort to address the issue of consumerism and do it head-on by supporting Green Friday. We are standing on the shoulders of giants who have led this initiative since at least 2011 and my words here are not unique; I’m repeating what those braver than me uttered a decade ago, but as a relatively small company pursuing growth, the most challenging, and the important pathway we need to follow in 2021 is to lessen our environmental footprint. Businesses need to make fewer things but of higher quality, where customers are educated and aware of their buying decisions.
How Black Friday and Cyber Monday damage the environment
Almost everything that is manufactured takes something from the planet, and we are taking far more than we can give back. Each product, whether it uses recycled materials or not, emits several times its weight in greenhouse gases, generates at least another quarter in volume worth of scrap, uses energy derived from fossil fuel, and draws down significantly high amounts of freshwater now growing scarce everywhere on the planet.
That said, we are in business to make and sell products and our employees have mortgages, families, education fees, medical bills etc. just like everyone else. Here at Uccello, we design and manufacture products that help people stay independent in their homes for longer, and we believe that these offer improvements to people’s lives that can be life-changing. It is what gets us out of bed every day. Moreover, we are a growing business, expanding our product range, and growing our geographical footprint, selling in over 13 countries now. What do we tell customers who might accuse us of hypocrisy?
It’s part of our mission to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
It would be hypocritical for us to work for environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy. To reduce environmental damage, we all have to reduce consumption as well as make products in more environmentally sensitive, less harmful ways. It’s not hypocrisy for us to address the need to reduce consumption. On the other hand, it is foolishness to assume that a healthy economy can be based on buying and selling more and more things people don’t need – and it’s time for people who believe that it is foolishness, to say so.
Nevertheless, as we’ve mentioned, Uccello is a growing business – and we intend to be in business a long time, providing independence and restoring confidence for our customers. The test of our sincerity (or our hypocrisy) will be if everything we sell is useful, multifunctional where possible, long-lasting, stylish, and beautiful without following any societal ‘fashion trends. We’re not yet entirely there but we are getting there, and our Social Impact Policy will serve as a framework to advance us toward these goals.
Independent Retailers Take a Stand
This year, about 85% of independent retailers will not participate in Black Friday; this is the highest figure ever recorded by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA). We are proud to not be a participant and want to take this time to broadcast our reasoning.
Join us in talking about Anti Black Friday. As a sustainable brand, we do NOT agree or promote this mass consumption event – instead, we opt for Green Friday.
“The only way to bring a society out of poverty, is to educate the women. An educated girl is likely to increase her personal earning potential, as well as reduce poverty in her community. … Educated women are empowered to take a greater economic role in their families and communities, and they tend to reinvest 90% of what they earn into their families” – Christopher Hitchens
We will donate 10% of all sales placed from today and over the weekend towards our chosen charities that help empower poverty-stricken or trafficked women.
MD of Uccello Designs