thoughts on black friday

brenda <3 - 27/11/2020
Since the creation of salut beauté, we haven't taken part in Black Friday for one single reason: we didn't have any stock to sell and practicing discounts during Black Friday would have made no sense. That being said, here is our reflection on the subject which, we hope, will be able to nuance the debate.
Black Friday is approaching. For several years, during this period, one can observe a kind of schizophrenia and frenzy, on the side of its followers as well as on the side of its detractors.
To realize this frenzy, just take a look on Instagram. Between promotions and demonization, we no longer know how to position ourselves, what to think, what to buy, when, how. Despite the incredible power of Instagram and its undeniably beneficial reach for most small and medium-sized businesses, this social network has one major flaw: it is not nuanced.
We know that nothing is all black or all white here below. Certainly… except on Instagram. For what ? Because “people are over-solicited”, “you have 2 seconds maximum of attention from your followers”, “the message must be simple and clear to pass”. It's completely true. But if everyone starts from this assumption, isn't it incredibly dangerous? Shouldn't a social network encourage reflection instead of launching Manichean banalities with a vengeance with the aim of simplifying a message that suddenly loses all substance?
Is people's attention deficit reason enough to take them for idiots?
This is a first thing.
Back to our dear Black Friday. In the good/bad world that is Instagram, brands running Black Friday promotions are the devil incarnate, fueling shameless overconsumption. The others are on the right side of the fence, without nuance.
Thus, we demonize the brands that practice Black Friday as well as the consumers who buy during Black Friday. This simplification of a much more complex problem is exactly at the origin of the phenomenon called “green washing”, which consists of brandishing an eco-responsible argument in a timely manner, without any underlying long-term work. In other words: it is not because a brand practices Black Friday that it is a capitalist devil and conversely, it is not because a brand claims its non-participation in Black Friday that it is irreproachable.
The sales are originally part of a virtuous circle which consists of selling off the stocks of the previous season. 99.9% of brands, even brands like ours that practice upcycling and pre-ordering (and therefore produce very limited quantities), may, at any time, be led to "destock" by practicing reductions ( especially in this very complicated year). Many brands do this in a rather pragmatic business dynamic, which in no way calls into question all the efforts they make on a daily basis as part of their responsible approach.
We must also be aware that the choice not to do Black Friday implies total invisibility for brands during this period and consequently a largely truncated turnover.
On the other hand, we agree that Black Friday gives way to aberrant excesses. But these drifts are not visible only during Black Friday: today, more than 50% of clothes are sold on sale in France. Thus, we can clearly see that the virtuous circle of sales has been broken for a long time. Today, some brands produce exclusively for Black Friday, knowing full well that they will sell at bargain prices.
In short, Black Friday is certainly a symbol, but it is simply a symptom of a much more global problem. Green washing, lack of information, lack of transparency behind prices and manufacturing methods, gratuitous undocumented demonization: these are the real systemic problems we have to deal with, which lead to total incomprehension among consumers about what he should or should not buy to be part of a more responsible approach.
Again, the big picture is important in any situation. Militant commitment is an excellent thing, an oh so important step. But let's avoid the too easy shortcuts that are today largely responsible for a global confusion regarding eco-responsibility.
Conclusion: long live transparency!
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