Sustainable UK fashion brand Tom Cridland made a point this month of not being part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday despite those two days being their biggest day's worth of sales they've ever had in 2016. "I wanted to tell you why I think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are actually incredibly damaging to independent retail businesses and undermine a growing shift towards sustainability," explained designer Tom Cridland. He went on to explain that as the fashion industry is now the world's second most polluting industry, it is imperative that consumers are encouraged to buy LESS and buy BETTER. This means, sustainable, durable, long-term purchases. "Encouraging exorbitant discounting that is only really profitable for brands either making clothing unethically or looking to clear unwanted stock, results in people buying clothes for the sake of it and increases the chances that those garments will join the millions of tonnes of clothing that end up in landfill every year."
These two days have a huge impact on consumer buying habits in the lead up to Christmas – an obvious crucial retail period. By using up a family's or independent consumer's budget on discounted items, there will be a significantly reduced customer base for brands with lower margins, higher quality and a more transparent ethos. So this year as a mini protest to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Tom Cridland has designed the world's first ever Christmas jumper with a 30 Year Guarantee. "To demonstrate that we are trying to invoke a bygone era when clothing was made with exquisite care. A combination of technology, beautiful Italian fabric and old school craftsmanship make it built to last a lifetime," he added. "In contrast to the needless cycle of consumption and waste that exists all over the world at Christmas, this is a garment truly built to last."
The Tom Cridland brand started as a small government loaned start-up, where they initially felt a lot of pressure to constantly run flash sales and regularly discount their clothing. "In fact, as a survey we recently conducted among 50,000 of our customers revealed to us, this only served to alienate our customer base. We would encourage all independent brands to join us in considering whether devaluing their designs with huge discounts is something we should all really be participating in any more, just because it has recently become a 'tradition'."