The Black Friday hype is kicking in with brands large and small trying to push their sales while consumers are looking for deals of their lives.
Apparently, the concept comes from the USA, as the Friday after Thanksgiving has always proven to turn red into black in the business sales reports excel files. Profitability of the Black Friday has made history ever since, and kept both businesses and those seeking offers satisfied.
So satisfied that now our nerve system is desperately seeking those high dopamine levels that only clicking on the button ‘buy it’ gives. While the desire to repeat the feeling of happiness keeps coming back, the results are sadly only temporary. Importantly though, what stays for longer, is an emptied wallet and products we don’t necessarily need or want.
Is the concept wrong altogether? Don't people deserve a bit of fun and a good deal? Should a business not show that they can adapt their pricing for a while, and make a few bobs at the same time?
No, we are all for it: the exchange, the joys, surprises and fun. However, we would like to extend the definition of satisfaction and add consciousness and awareness to it.
As consumers, we may sometimes feel vulnerable. Marketing campaigns, algorithm strategies, cookies, hashtags follow our behaviors and moods to define our dilemmas and attract us with visions of perfectly crafted solutions. Before we know it we own an umbrella hat, frog eye mask, finger covers for cheesy food and a heart shaped piece of bog.
As consumers and people in business ourselves, we believe we have a very broad overview of what’s happening in the retail sector. As we reflect on what we see, we would like to strongly encourage you to ASK QUESTIONS. Consumers have the right to know, and to demand the answers. Knowledge is power and braces in a wisdom that will make shopping cautious and sensible, which actually guarantees pleasure and serenity.
Here is what we think you should question before buying.
Oh, the recent buzz word. Change in practices and behaviors is absolutely necessary and lucky we as a society are getting to understand it. In the retail sector many brands go towards sustainability practices and genuinely make the process Earth friendly. It is important to seek confirmation that what they do is real, and not only serving marketing purposes.
- Seek answers whether the company policies align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Ask for materials and their certifications
- Request policies and reports on the sustainability practices
- Check product materials and look closely, every small thing matters. Think of our socks packaging for example. Have you noticed that each pair comes packed in a brown cardboard uncoated label? Well, this label is sawn into the sock with our certified cotton yarn, so we don’t use the plastic clips. A small thing some may say, but makes so much sense!
Quality of products
- What are they made of
- What is their lifespan
- When it comes to socks - are they seamless like ours, so serve also those with sensory issues
- Where are the product made
- How are they made
As much as we all want to experience luxury it’s about the time to realize that simplicity is the true form of elegance. Less is more, never been so true.
It’s worth considering brands who supply their products in recyclable or compostable packaging. Circular economy would be however ideal, but is of course difficult to achieve. Not impossible though. We are proud to have introduced procedures for corporate orders that save thousands of boxes per annum.
Being located in an industrial estate in Galway City we have witnessed perfectly new boxes being sent to waste after only one use. Computer shops, printers, newsagents etc. put their waste bags full of ideal boxes out each day, and we’ve decided to do something about it. We collect those perfect boxes from the local businesses and reuse them for our corporate shippings. Each delivery arrives with a note describing where the box comes from and an encouragement to re-use it again.
The note is printed on recycled paper, of course ;) Surely this requires our time, quality control plus our products do not arrive in boxes branded with our logo. Do we regret it for one minute? No. We. do. the. right. thing.
Charities and good will
We all want to do good, and it feels absolutely great if we can do good even when purchasing a product. Many brands decide to collaborate with charities, events, raise funds, and donate. They truly make this word a better place.
It is absolutely necessary to support the companies that take genuine actions. It is the business obligation to publish reports and inform its customers and followers about where the donations went, when and of what amount.
Clarity, as always, is of essence.
To be sure, to be sure. Testimonials, memberships, awards, recognitions are third party reassurances of the company accountability. If it’s trustworthy the world will know it. Various narratives can be carried by brands, and their honesty can only be justified by users, customers' experience, and organizations that specialize in highlighting the best out of the best. Any feedback received is gold for a business. It helps us learn, improve, high five for the right decisions and grow.
Do I really need to buy this?
Do you really need this?
As much urgency as we feel to buy for others, for ourselves, or just in case and all that craic - do we really need all of it? What are our true priorities and how can we fulfill them in comfort and with joy? There is so much, everywhere, at all times these days. We are literally bombarded and sometimes it may feel that we have no other choice than to go with the flow. But we do. There is more to virtual reality which often seems to be taking over our lives. Less things of good quality equals less to worry about in a decluttered life.
More experiences of human connections equals true satisfaction and simply a happy life.
So whatever colour Friday you choose, ask questions. The initiative of the Green Friday may answer a few before you even start though. Local Irish businesses showcase their work and offer great deals to encourage consumers to shop nearby.
Because when you buy from a small, local business you knock their socks off in happiness.