Turning Black Friday on its head


As Black Friday continues to gain prominence in the UK retail calendar, some brands are taking the concept and turning it on its head.

Here’s a quick round up of how some of the more values-led retailers have played with Black Friday in an effort to endear themselves to their target customer.

Canopy & Stars

The boldest stand that we came across this year was made by glamping booking website, Canopy & Stars. Not only did the brand refrain from participating in Black Friday, it also blocked customers from booking breaks through its website. Instead, it directed website visitors towards reforestation charity Treesisters. This message, coupled with the simple but prominent ‘Closed for Black Friday’ statement, speaks volumes about brands approach to business.

Tony’s Chocolonely

Tony’s ‘0% Discount, 100% Responsibility’ message is perfect in underpinning its moral mission to end slavery in the cocoa supply chain. Plus, the brand sets out its reasons for not participating in Black Friday in such a robust way, it makes it pretty much impossible to argue, i.e.“The chocolate chain is unequally divided and we are doing everything we can to improve this.”


Widely known for being a leader in ethical retailing, it’s no coincidence that Patagonia encouraged visitors to its EU landing website page to donate money via its Patagonia Action Works initiative, promising to match donations over Black Friday weekend. In a damning summary of Black Friday, CEO Rose Marcario wrote on LinkedIn: “Black Friday is often a day when we go out and buy things we don’t really need and give them to people who don’t really want them. This year, consider giving to our home planet in the name of someone you love. Give to the tireless, community-based groups who work to save clean water and air in your neighborhoods, our public land treasures, our wild animals and birds, and our wide oceans.”


Active clothing brand Howies decided to donate 1% of Black Friday sales to replant and protect forests, in the name of Bark Friday.


Other brands participated in the event, but put their own unique spin on the name. For example, online flower retailer Bloom & Wild launched a Bright Friday sale, meanwhile, premium lifestyle retailer, Arket, used White Wednesday to offer 20% off selected items.

Lastly, we particularly liked Flying Tiger‘s approach in using Black Friday to highlight to customers that Black Friday or no Black Friday, its prices are always low.




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