Take back Black Friday: A end to overproduction, overconsumption and waste

By Fashion Revolution

3 years ago

For the third year running, Fashion Revolution’s Black Friday campaign will call for an end to overproduction, overconsumption and waste in the fashion industry. We want citizens to take a stand against mindless consumption, combat fashion’s culture of disposability and exploitation, and say no to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

“Black Friday is a scam. It’s one more way to get citizens to think they are finding a bargain, when in fact they are hunting an illusion. Black Friday is about the rush, the speed, the compulsion. At Fashion Revolution we are asking you to stay conscientious and to buy with purpose.”
Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution co-founder and creative director

Black Friday represents fashion’s systemic overproduction problem, with big brands thoughtlessly churning out new products at the cost of people and the planet. Brands get away with this wasteful business model because cleverly marketed seasonal markdowns mean their customers help them get rid of unsold stock. An estimated 100 billion pieces of clothing are made each year, but according to our 2021 Fashion Transparency Index, only 14% of major fashion brands publish the quantity of products they produce. Meanwhile, only 27% of major fashion brands say they are investing in circular solutions such as textile-to-textile recycling, and just 32% have clothing take-back schemes in place. 

The majority of the people who make our clothes live in poverty. In fact, Oxfam estimates that it would take a major fashion CEO just 4 days to earn what a female garment worker in Bangladesh will earn in her entire lifetime. We want to see an end to this hyper-discount culture where there is so little value placed on clothing, the resources used to produce it or the people who make it. We, as consumers and as global citizens, deserve better from our wardrobes.



Citizens can take part in the campaign by abstaining from shopping Black Friday sales where possible, choosing alternative ways to have fun with fashion like upcycling, repairing, swapping and sharing. They can also help spread the message that overproduction costs the Earth on social media, holding brands accountable by asking #WhoMadeMyClothes? and #WhatsInMyClothes?, and supporting the movement for positive change by donating to Fashion Revolution.

During the Black Friday weekend (26th – 29th November 2021), a series of sustainable fashion brands, retailers and rental platforms are pledging to donate 5-15% of their sales instead of promoting discounts that encourage unsustainable practices of overproduction and overconsumption. 

We know that the end-of-season sale model is ingrained in many brands, but we need forward-thinking businesses to buck the Black Friday trend and empower people to choose quality over quantity instead. This crucial support helps us to fund our work campaigning for a transparent and accountable fashion industry.

The Black Friday campaign is supported by Fashion Revolution’s global network of 90+ country teams, alongside organisations working to shape a better fashion system: Fashion Act Now, Global Fashion Xchange, Slow Fashion Movement. Collective Fashion Justice, Fashion Impact Fund and Fashion Takes Action. 


To learn more and take part, visit: www.fashionrevolution.org/blackfriday