Fashion

Freitag Boycotts Black Friday and Leads the Sustainable Revolution

Black Friday has arrived, and stepping out of your house exposes you to irresistible offers, outrageous discounts, emails, and shop windows screaming “consumerism.” Fortunately, not all companies share and adhere to this movement, which is guilty of enormous impacts on the environment and people.

FREITAG, the Swiss bag company committed to the circular economy for thirty years, has distinguished itself with a bold move, shutting down its online store during Black Friday and, for the first time, also halting sales in its physical stores worldwide.

In a day filled with cries of excessive discounts and unmissable deals, FREITAG raises its voice, saying “no” to mass consumption and “yes” to a sustainable economy. Black Friday, with its crazy offers, conflicts with FREITAG’s mission to promote mindful resource use.

Black Friday: Rent for Free Instead of Seeing Black

Rather than succumbing to a shopping frenzy and losing sight of its values, the company transforms its stores into temporary rental centers, offering the opportunity to borrow a bag for two weeks, free of charge.

FREITAG’s decision to say “no to purchases and “yes to free renting” is more than a response to Black Friday; it’s a strong message for a sustainable future. The initiative aims to promote circular consumption, encouraging renting over buying and usage over possession. FREITAG is not alone in this battle against the rampant consumerism of Black Friday. The company has joined forces with other brands sharing the same mission, creating a united front for more conscious consumption.

Brands Saying “NO” to Black Friday

Black Friday, with its race for excessive discounts, is at the center of social, environmental, and economic criticism. This ruthless day benefits a few at the expense of many, fueling an unsustainable cycle. Brands opposing Black Friday emphasize the need for a fair and sustainable economy, expressing their refusal through constructive initiatives. While Black Friday attracts attention for its discounts, FREITAG and other brands demonstrate that there is an alternative, and this alternative can be not only sustainable but also rewarding. It’s an invitation for all of us to consider the value behind our purchases and choose a more responsible approach to consumerism.

Brands adhering to this philosophy not only say “no” to Black Friday but respond with concrete initiatives.

  • FREITAG shuts down sales for 24 hours, offering the opportunity to borrow a bag.
  • MUD Jeans closes its online store and launches a Pre-Loved platform.
  • RÆBURN deactivates its online shop and organizes a free repair event in London.
  • Flamingos Life, with its vegan sneakers, closes the online store in solidarity.
  • Brompton offers free bicycle rentals.

These brands are sending a powerful message: Black Friday can wait, but sustainability cannot. It’s time to say “no” to excessive consumerism and “yes” to more conscious and sustainable consumption.

What Is Black Friday, and How Much Does It Impact?

Black Friday, born as a frenzied shopping event in the United States, has conquered the world with promises of tempting discounts. It is celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas gift rush. The term “Black Friday,” with uncertain origins, is associated with days of substantial earnings for merchants, highlighting intense post-Thanksgiving activity and dark traffic on American roads.

In Italy, Black Friday has a significant impact economically, environmentally, and socially. Estimates indicate that Italians participating in the entire Black Friday week will contribute to emitting approximately 400 thousand tons of CO2 globally. This enormous number considers only the freight transport related to online deliveries and increased circulation of private vehicles. While trade associations in Italy have proposed opposing Black Friday, many brands continue to participate, offering significant discounts on their products.

The Response of Green Friday

But there is a more sustainable response: Green Friday, which was born in France in 2017. This initiative challenges the consumeristic fervor of Black Friday, pushing consumers toward more ecological choices.

Green Friday invites reflection on purchasing choices in an era dominated by consumerism. While Black Friday offers economic advantages with undeniable environmental and social impacts, Green Friday suggests a more measured approach to shopping, encouraging mindful and sustainable choices. FREITAG leads this movement, but has it always been this way? Let’s go ahead and discover its story together.

The Story of FREITAG, 30 Years Since Its Inception

Three decades ago, Swiss brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag gave life to a visionary project that would become an icon of sustainability and unique design: FREITAG. In 1993, their Zurich workshop became the cradle of the circular economy, transforming old truck tarpaulins into extraordinary bags.

Circular Economy Stories: From Trucks to MoMA

FREITAG’s story is dictated by constant innovation; in 2003, the first F13 TOP CAT messenger bag joined the Museum of Modern Art collection in New York (MoMA), recognizing pioneering design. Since then, FREITAG has expanded its range, combining used truck tarps with recycled PET fabrics, airbags, and even smartphone cases created from disused ski boots.

The FREITAG bag has become synonymous with design, functionality, resource-friendly materials, and longevity. Each model is unique, carrying a story rich with travels and adventures through the world’s streets.

But FREITAG’s journey has not been without challenges. In 1997, while grocery shopping in a Swiss supermarket, Markus Freitag found himself facing a copy of his bag. A replica called “Donnerstag” was mass-produced with new and thin plastic. This imitation, though similar in form, lacked the essence that made FREITAG bags unique: the reuse of materials, resistance, and a circular approach. This situation brought FREITAG to a crucial crossroads.

In response, last September, the company invited brand enthusiasts to participate in the “Donnerstag Weeks” at the Flagship Store in Zurich, transforming the space into a supermarket with recovered objects. A limited edition of the Donnerstag F13-D COPY CAT bag, made from blue truck tarps, became the epitome of reconquest: turning the copy into an original.

The limited edition Donnerstag F13-D COPY CAT, sold exclusively at the Flagship Store in Zurich, allocated 99% of the proceeds to a social commitment by a Swiss retailer. Besides being a design icon, FREITAG is a beacon of sustainability and a warning against counterfeiting. Their story is not just about bags but a philosophy that has challenged time and demonstrated that sustainability can be profitable and stylish.

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