Black Friday? No thanks

Black Friday is just around the corner. Ads announcing major sales are everywhere. But this year, like all others, we're not participating. Learn more with us about the history of Black Friday, what its true impact is, and why we're not joining. Instead, we're donating 30% of our revenue on Black Friday to support a Mexican charity.

History of Black Friday

The phrase Black Friday was used for the first time in 1869 and had nothing to do with Christmas shopping. That day, the plummeting gold prices caused stock markets to tumble, which led to a severe market crash that affected the U.S. economy for years.

Around the 1950s or '60s, the first mentions of Black Friday as we know it now were used in Philadelphia. The police used the term to describe the chaos of the shoppers that flooded into the city on the day after Thanksgiving. The number of shoppers created traffic accidents and the chaos sometimes even led to violence.

The city's retailers tried to change the expression to ''Big Friday'' to get rid of the negative connotation but remained unsuccessful. The holiday term was first used in print in 1966. As recently as 1985, it became common use nationwide. Retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected on them positively by using the ''red to black'' story. The story was a concept from the past, where stores who had not done well that year finally turned a profit. After the massive sales they did on the day after Thanksgiving, they saw their bank account number change from red (debt) to black (positive). The story stuck, and soon the term's roots in Philadelphia were forgotten. Since then, the sales craze has turned into a large event.

Current tradition of Black Friday

Black Friday is now the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Almost all stores come out with major discounts and early bird specials to attract customers to their shop. People will stand in line for hours before stores open to grab the bargains of the year. Black Friday is paired with a lot of chaos and sometimes even violence. The past few years, Black Friday has become more than a one-day event, as (online) stores have started with sale campaigns in the week before Thanksgiving.

Impact of Black Friday

Black Friday is now the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Almost all stores come out with major discounts and early bird specials to attract customers to their shop. People will stand in line for hours before stores open to grab the bargains of the year. Black Friday is paired with a lot of chaos and sometimes even violence. The past few years, Black Friday has become more than a one-day event, as (online) stores have started with sale campaigns in the week before Thanksgiving.

Today's sales mentality also puts pressure on brands to heavily reduce the prices of their items. But that money has to come from somewhere. Some brands might choose to increase their initial prices, but a lot of brands choose to keep their current prices and lower their production costs. These cuts come from working with lower quality materials, using cheaper chemicals, and saving on worker's rights and wages. The environment and garment workers are getting the short change.

Why we don't do Black Friday sales

At CANO, we want to produce ethical products that are worth buying for their full price at any time of the year. We don't want to get trapped in the endless cycle of sales, which ultimately contributes to buying items you don't need at the expense of others. Our products are lovingly created by our artisans from materials that were sourced sustainably. This process takes time and care. As a sustainable business, we believe it would be an injustice to make concessions on either just to get a higher profit.

Instead of giving crazy discounts, we want to use this opportunity to do good. We have chosen to donate 30% of our revenue of Black Friday to a Mexican charity. Which one? We will reveal that soon...

So stay tuned and happy Thanksgiving!

Your CANO team

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