Black Friday is a bit of an interesting one, isn't it? Every year it seems to start earlier and last longer, with videos flooding social media and the news of unruly crowds cloying to get a bargain. Meanwhile your inbox is being flooded with promotions and deals in the lead-up to more promotions and deals. What does the hype and mayhem around Black Friday say about us as people?
(Image Source: Reuters, 2019)
At Niche, we typically do one sale day a year. This date is often a mystery until a week beforehand, and it did only ever last the one day. The pieces on sale were carefully curated. It was never a full collection, and we never produced or purchased in a quantity that wasn't considered. We don't work like that. But that doesn't mean we haven't been guilty of falling into the Black Friday mania that many do.
Depending on how long you have followed us, you might know that we did our first ever Black Friday sale last year. It was only for the online (Niche Bazaar Studio), and it was again a careful curation of products. It was quite stressful to create, and it didn't feel particularly fulfilling either. We were seeing customers buy things without the full consideration they would normally take. We were selling eyewear in a way that we don't ever do. There wasn't a conversation or curation to find the perfect piece. It didn't feel very Niche.
This year, we've decided to skip Black Friday. The concept of Black Friday and Cyber Monday just don't feel very Niche, and it doesn't align with our sustainable practices. We've always been fond of Vivienne Westwood's saying "Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last". This is how all of us at Niche shop ourselves, and it's the same ethos we promote when shopping with us. We almost exclusively offer cellulose acetate frames (a cotton derivative which you can read more about here), we only ever offer high quality frames designed to last, and most of the time we are able to repair rather than replace. We want people to love their glasses for years to come, and whenever possible we want to be able to repair them when things go wrong.
Black Friday can promote unhealthy and unsustainable consumption, and that isn't something we want to be a part of. And although our stance on this subject might not change the world, we hope us speaking about our thoughts on Black Friday helps others consider if they really need those 90% off plastic specs or that £1 bikini.
Fancy skipping the bargain bins and trying some real eyewear? Give us a call, email, or browse our website to see what true craftsmanship looks like. You won't be disappointed.