On Black Friday, stores throw discounts around like there’s no tomorrow. And quite often, these discounts do more harm to retailers and consumers than good and damage the environment. We’ll explain this thoroughly in this article. Swiss Made Direct, as a consumer and climate-oriented business, is always against manipulations of any kind, and that’s why we do not celebrate Black Friday.
Resistance to the increasingly established Black Friday is growing from year to year. A good example is Sweden’s “White Monday,” where people set a sign against overconsumption.
The bargain days definitely have a dark side; we want to reveal it for you in five points.
You don’t actually save that much (or nothing at all)
Dizzying discounts tempt many consumers to make an ill-considered purchase. The percentages are often merely artificially inflated, with retailers referring to a manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Because the lower prices tempt many people to make impulse purchases, they end up saving nothing. Most of the time, the opposite is true. Those who spend money unplanned on things they don’t need don’t save any money.
It’s a kind of manipulation
On Black Friday, participating companies’ marketing departments deliberately stir fear. The fear of missing out – “FOMO” in English, means that it entices consumers to buy something because it might not be available soon (or at least not at such a low price).
Specifically, they use this trick with notices such as “only 5 left” or “10 people are looking at this offer right now.” Another measure from the sales psychology bag of tricks is luminous colors or the deliberate placement of a bargain next to expensive products.
The enemy of the environment
The way our society consumes today is a major driver of climate change. Greenpeace calls Black Friday a “black day for the environment” for a good reason.
After all, if everything that is broken is bought new instead of being repaired on these bargain days, the climate is further fuelled as a result. Instead of an environmentally friendly circular economy, Black Friday continues to fuel the problematic linear economy.
Buying clothes and electronics, in particular, harms our environment – because of the long transport routes or because manufacturing processes and required raw materials are not sustainable. In addition, the fact that people order online on Black Friday and return in large numbers causes further emissions.
For the sake of the people
The run-up to Christmas means pure stress for many retail employees:
- Longer working days.
- Stores that are also open on Sundays.
- Even more customers than usual to serve and advise.
This affects not only sales assistants but also logisticians and couriers.
In addition, low prices often go together with unfair working conditions in the country of manufacture. Child labor, low wages, and poor social benefits make it possible for retailers to offer Black Friday deals in the first place.
Because smaller companies suffer
Consumers, employees, stores, and online stores are under enormous pressure during the bargain days and weeks in November. Therefore, it is vital for them to remain competitive, especially in the sales-relevant months of November and December.
When all the big retailers offer rock-bottom prices, small and medium-sized businesses must follow suit to get their goods to customers. And this is even though it is often not financially worthwhile for them because they cannot procure the goods at the same conditions, according to the Swiss Retail Federation. In contrast to smaller and medium-sized retailers, retail giants can negotiate special conditions with their suppliers in the run-up to Black Friday and thus often get their goods at heavily discounted prices.
We hopefully made it very clear why we do not celebrate Black Friday. Our customers and environment are always our number one priority. And it will always be that way.
In our last blog post we were talking about climate neutrality – its definition, requirements, and other information regarding offset projects and certification.
Now, we want to talk more about our online store – Swiss Made Direct and why this was so important for us to become a climate neutral company. But, more importantly, we’ll talk about why this is important news for you – our dear customers, and also, for all other people who will become the part of Swiss Made Direct family.
Why are we so proud of “climate neutral” title?
In the world we live in, it’s more important than ever to be environmentally-friendly and save our dear planet. Each individual effort is essential for this global goal. But, when you do it as a company, the overall results are greater and much more visible. Let me explain why.
First of all, all our employees and customers now have an even clearer picture of the importance of climate neutrality and eco-friendliness. Spreading a positive influence throughout the world for the noble cause is the best thing we can do as a group. And yes, we’re very proud of it.
Apart from that, we support all regional projects that serve to protect the Swiss mountain forest and much more. As a Climate Partner, we have a privilege, but also a duty, to support climate neutrality.
Finally, we offset 100 percent of our business activities’ emissions through carbon offset projects. ClimatePartner supports us in calculating, reducing, and offsetting carbon emissions. The entire process is verifiable with the label “climate neutral” and our certificate.
We support the “Forest protection combination, Swiss mountain forest protection, and forest protection Pará, Brazil” carbon offset project with our company’s climate neutrality. Also, we help to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Some of these are combating poverty and improving living conditions in emerging and developing nations. We’re taking responsibility for climate protection and emphasizing our commitment to sustainability by offsetting our company’s emissions.
But, you might still wonder – why is all of this important to you?
Be our customer = Support our planet
To put it simple – as an individual, you don’t have to care about our planet – it’s your own will. But, as a responsible, reliable, and conscious person – you need to play your own part in this planet-saving goal. There are many ways to be ecologically active, and shopping is one of these.
Shopping at Swiss Made Direct means that you won’t ever have a bad feeling about climate. That’s something other stores can’t say, which makes a huge difference for every person who cares about our planet’s health. With every purchase at our store, you’ll know that you did nothing wrong environmentally. Moreover, you’ll support all regional projects in Switzerland.
Sounds good to you? Visit our store and see what’s in there for you!
From this month, July 2020, Swiss Made Direct became climate neutral! It is pretty huge news for us as an online store that cares about the climate and environment. We know that this term “climate neutrality” might confuse you in the beginning, although you probably have a clue.
In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to be environmentally-friendly and be aware of acts that might affect our planet and its climate. Almost every country in the world can feel the effects of climate change. For instance, extreme weather events, such as storms or heavy rainfall and increasing pest infestation, can endanger one country’s ecosystem. But, the term “climate neutrality” that we want to discuss about, means much more than that.
So, let’s break this term down into super small detail, so we could then understand how Swiss Made Direct became the part of this beautiful story.
What climate neutral stands for?
Companies, products, and processes can call themselves “climate neutral” only if they support international carbon offset projects. Also, it means that carbon emissions, in that case, are calculated and offset.
Besides reduction and avoidance, offsetting carbon emissions is crucial towards holistic climate protection, which is the ultimate goal of an environmentally-friendly society.
The distribution of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, in the atmosphere, is even. Their concentration is the same all over the world. So, it is irrelevant, for global greenhouse gas concentration and effect, where we have emissions on Earth. Therefore, emissions that we can’t avoid locally can be offset by carbon offset projects at another location.
What is a carbon offset project?
Carbon offset projects make a decisive contribution to fighting global warming. How? By demonstrably saving greenhouse gases. These projects can take the form of forest conservation, reforestation, or the development of renewable energy. Besides, carbon offset projects promote sustainable development in the project countries. For example, it happens by improving access to clean drinking water, expanding local infrastructure, creating jobs, or preserving biodiversity.
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global benchmark for measuring such positive effects. They range from promoting education, fighting poverty, and hunger, and creating jobs to implementing clean and affordable energy. Each carbon offset project contributes to several of these goals. Sometimes the additional effect is so significant that the core projects are actually development projects that fight global warming as a supplemental effect and not vice versa.
The carbon offset project is a starting point of becoming climate neutral.
What are the criteria for a project to deserve carbon offset certification?
Carbon offset projects must satisfy international criteria. It means that projects need to follow strict standards – “Gold Standard” and “Verified Carbon Standard.”
Such an approach ensures and regularly confirms the climate protection effect of the projects. One of the essential requirements is that the projects are additional climate protection measures and that the contribution to carbon reduction in the atmosphere is measurable. It is guaranteed that the carbon emissions saved will only be used once to offset carbon emissions since the corresponding emission certificates are retired.
This is the mandatory criteria:
- Additionality – Only projects that depend on additional financial resources can become carbon offset projects. It means that the project must rely on revenue from emissions trading to finance itself and must be able to prove this need.
- Exclusion of double-counting – A project can count carbon savings only once. The project developer must prove it.
- Permanence – Emission savings must be permanent. This criterion is particularly crucial for afforestation and forest conservation project.
- Regular review by independent third parties – The third party, such as TUV, PwC, or SGS, has to review every carbon offset project at regular intervals.
Climate neutral story will be continued
Now, after all this information (which hopefully didn’t confuse you), you might wonder what is the Swiss Made Direct’s part in the climate neutrality. We’ll reveal it to you on Monday!