Why we're sitting out Black Friday
The commercial phenomenon that is Black Friday, which sweeps our globe annually, has now become the biggest shopping day of the year with stores opening their doors at the crack of dawn to welcome in frenzied shoppers, scrambling to hunt and secure tantalising bargains for their loved ones.
Black Friday has come to be synonymous with mass production and consumerism. Over the last few decades, retail giants have become extremely successful at tapping into our growing appetite for shopping. Regrettably, impulsive Black Friday purchases are often disposed of almost as quickly as they were bought - a staggering 80% of all Black Friday purchases are now thrown away after only one use*. Such habits feed into a wider cycle, as fast-fashion trends tempt us into reinventing our wardrobes every season. We now know this approach to be unsustainable – particularly within the context of the looming environmental crisis.
By definition, mass-produced items focus on quantity over quality, and production speed. This is an approach that dictates the type of fabrics and textiles used, and ultimately reduces the value of the finished product. This – along with colossal discounts with alluring price tags, as well as the ease of clicking a button to secure a purchase – makes it easy to overlook the importance not just of the design and quality, but also the experience.
At RUSKIN, we understand the urgency to collectively change our consumer habits – and we recognise that we have a contribution to make here. Our intention has always been to offer a richer and gentler experience. This means designing and creating responsibly in a way that offers pleasure to you, our customers and to our artisans, while keeping at the forefront of our mind, to tread lightly in doing so.
We describe our products as “from nature, by design”, as we work exclusively with high-quality, natural materials to create handcrafted, tailored styles. Our end-to-end supply chain is careful and deliberate; we work with experienced artisans who continue to use traditional tools and pedal sewing machines. Feeling the strength difference for each part of the leather and tweed as it is hand cut, stitched, worked and finished are all techniques that require extra time, skill and patience. The challenge, of course, is that this approach is slower and more labour intensive. Herein lies the difference. We believe that the secret to the quality of each RUSKIN design is in the human touch and that the hand still knows best when it comes to inspiring sensitivity and emotion. We are dedicated to bringing you designs that mobilise the senses and remind us that our brains and our bodies are wired for a tactile world.
Our mission runs counter to Black Friday’s push towards rapid consumerism: we are looking to move away from today’s climate of overproduction, and instead build a collection of long-lasting, versatile accessories that timelessly complement your wardrobe.
So, we’re staying true to our brand values and respectfully sitting out this year’s Black Friday tradition. RUSKIN is a true labour of love that we have been cultivating over many years, and we will always favour a slower more considered approach to production.
Why not celebrate with us this year by investing in a RUSKIN piece that you really love, safe in the knowledge that it has been carefully handcrafted by our expert artisans from the most beautiful natural materials?
Shop our latest collection HERE
* Report from independent think-tank Green Alliance