The REAL cost of Black Friday 2022
What is happening this Black Friday at RIOT?
2022 was the beginning of a new sustainable era at Riot Labs. We are striving to be the catalyst for change in the vaping industry, encouraging other companies and individuals to do what they can to reduce the industry's waste and carbon footprint.
Over the past few years, a movement has emerged at the end of November to try to invert the notion of Black Friday by proposing responsible and sustainable consumption. Green Friday is used to promote the practice of the circular economy and promote awareness of the damage Black Friday has on our eco-system and how we can do better with environmentally conscious practices.
We love the idea of Green Friday and couldn't get behind the movement anymore even if we tried! So that's why we’re not doing Black Friday this week, but we are doing Green Friday! The RIOT way!
We will be running an exclusive 50% OFF Sale sitewide this Black/Green Friday & Cyber Monday weekend— with all net proceeds being donated to a special environmental cause! That’s right. 100% OF OUR NET PROCEEDS, going to a sustainability-focused charity. So if you’re looking to quit smoking this weekend or try out our brand-new Riot Bar - Make sure to shop online this weekend.
But the question remains… Why are we doing Green Friday instead of Black Friday? Read on to find out more about the dark side of this shopping event!
The BIGGEST Shopping event of the year
It’s the end of November and it’s here again. The biggest shopping holiday of the year. Some call it the Friday we go broke, some say it’s their favourite Friday of the year, but most people call it - Black Friday. A tradition that once started in the heart of America to gobble people up with extreme sales & low prices has now taken over the world.
With Halloween behind us and the festive season ahead of us, people worldwide are lured in with the bombardment of social media posts, digital advertising and promotional messages to take advantage of this shopping event. But this year, it feels even more acute due to inflation threatening to disrupt consumer spending this holiday shopping season. Funnily enough, this unconscious shopping frenzy has a cost—a BIG one!
The REAL cost of Black Friday: Planet
Ok. So we first have to look at what exactly is happening on Black Friday. It may be specific to one day, but black Friday is a frenetic excuse that goes way beyond just one day. Most stores start their sales a week before the actual date, and then carry it on the next week until after Black Friday's evil twin is finished - Cyber Monday! Longer time on these extreme sales results in more global consumer spending. More global consumer spending means more products being manufactured and shipped worldwide.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
The carbon footprint of Black Friday solidifies its place as a climate menace.
There is no surprise with all of this needless consumerism, increased manufacturing and shipping that this popular yearly event is causing EXTREME damage to our planet. Black Friday 2021 in the UK alone was expected to emit 386,243 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the same weight as 3,679 blue whales. Just picture that for a moment.
This doesn’t just mean we’re pumping more greenhouse gases into the air, but the extra waste we generate from Black Friday is significant, too. Cardboard boxes, plastic bags, unsustainable packaging, etc. Put simply, there’s more trash, because when we buy our flashy products, we’re not just buying what's inside. We are also buying the damaging packaging.
The REAL cost of Black Friday: People
Black Friday doesn't just impact our beautiful planet. Oh no. It also affects the people who live on this planet, starting with the people who work to send you your pointless deals.
Do the maths. If production & manufacturing comes at a large cost & increases an immense amount during this period, won’t the workload for workers increase as well? Big companies who can’t handle the influx of generous orders they receive will outsource labour to countries where brands get away with paying pennies, depriving workers of access to a living wage and safe working conditions. And as you might have guessed (because we definitely did), the extra profit generated by the sale of even cheaper goods during Black Friday doesn’t end up in the workers’ wallets. SHOCK.
Wait, there's more. Then comes the shipping, packaging and delivery. These workers come under a lot of stress as they are tricked into working long & inhumane hours–from 12 -16 at warehouses such as Amazon– just so the companies can meet the needs of their customers.
It’s unfair, it’s needless but it’s a cycle that keeps on turning and not to mention, getting worse each year as our population continues to grow. The Earth’s population recently hit 8,000,000,000 people. Black Friday deals are never to treat or look after the people, they are solely made to exploit the working class for profit. To pump up the company's revenue sheets and fill the CEO’s pockets.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” - Robert Swan OBE
So what can YOU do instead?
So you’ve decided not to engage in Black Friday this year and to encourage those around you to do the same—congrats!
If you really do want to take advantage of sales before Christmas, make sure you are responsibly shopping at least. Don’t buy from fast fashion brands. Ugh, they are the worst. If you need something, make sure to buy it from green brands that have a positive impact on the planet.
After all, it’s all for the greatest cause!