Brothers We Stand, the platform for ethical men’s style, is taking the ultimate stand against the overconsumption that Black Friday encourages, by banning all purchases on the site for the whole of Black Friday and instead encouraging shoppers to make a different choice and learn about the damage that overconsumption is causing.
This Black Friday, tempted by discounts and offers, men are expected to spend 60% more than women (£338 v £210) with clothing the second most popular category for spending after technology (PwC). In the context of a McKinsey report suggesting on the current trajectory the fashion industry will miss the 1.5°C pathway by 50%,ethical men’s clothing platform, Brothers We Stand has taken the decision to close its platform to sales during this potentially lucrative period.
Brothers We Stand is an ethical menswear platform, founded in 2013 in solidarity with the men and women who make our clothes. Based in East London, their vision is to support consumers to build a wardrobe of stylish and sustainably made menswear. Every product comes with a footprint so you can see where, who and how the item was made.
‘At the heart of fashion’s culture of overconsumption lies the ‘Add To Bag’ button - a button we can click as much as we like, and never know the consequences of our actions. To highlight this, we’re are replacing our ‘Add To Bag’ button with our Black Friday symbol. Instead of adding an item to the basket, customers will be redirected to three alternative actions to learn and take a stand against the overconsumption that Black Friday encourages.'
Jonathan Mitchell, Founder of Brothers We Stand
‘Instead of adding an item to the basket, customers will be redirected to three alternative actions to learn and take a stand against the overconsumption that Black Friday can encourage.' - Jonathan Mitchell, Founder of Brothers We Stand
Overconsumption is driving climate change, worker abuse and unsustainable lifestyles. Clothing consumption is expected to increase by 63% by 2030 (Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2017), that’s an additional 500 billion t-shirts. Whilst Black Friday discounts can make products accessible to a wider audience the time limited sales tactics employed by brands over the Black Friday period are specifically designed to push consumers towards purchases and maximise sales above all else.
On Black Friday, Brothers We Stand’s home page will give you the option to Learn, Stand or Change for a fairer world of fashion.
Every year, Black Friday drives these trends, placing unsustainable strain on the planet and the people that produce our clothing. On Black Friday, visitors to Brothers We Stand’s website will be greeted by a different kind of home page. Instead of carousels selling ethical men’s style, they’ll find three alternative actions they can take to challenge fashion’s culture of overconsumption.
LEARN: The first action is to learn more about Black Friday, and understand why Brothers We Stand are choosing to shut down shopping this year.
STAND: The second invites customers to ask Next, Nike and Amazon to #PayTheirWorkers. Amazon are pioneers of Black Friday sales, but Labour Behind The Label’s campaign targets the company’s low wages for workers, whose health is often put at risk by long hours and unsafe working conditions. Brothers We Stand take a different approach, using a six-point standard and product footprints to ensure all their products are ethically made.
CHANGE: The third and final option is Brothers We Stand’s step-by-step guide to shopping more sustainably, guiding us through the decisions we make when we purchase a new item of clothing.
According to Helen Powell, Associate Professor in Creative Advertising at LSBU, changing mindsets will outweigh attempts by governments to reduce the fallout from fast fashion. “We must learn to think beyond our own needs and desires when we shop” (LSBU). This philosophy underpins the kind of drastic action Brothers We Stand are taking to promote a healthier way of interacting with fashion.
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