5 brands that flipped the script on Black Friday (and totally nailed it)


Black Friday and its internet cousin Cyber Monday are all about working people into a frenzy over amazing deals right before the holidays. While reports are already showing huge numbers for major retailers this year, we were thrilled to see a few brands blaze their own trail and used this major consumer event as a chance to do some good for people and our planet. 

Here are just 5 companies that put the conscious back in consuming:

1. Patagonia and the 100% 

Patagonia 100% for the Planet Black Friday

Photo from patagonia.com

Patagonia, the retailer of outdoor clothing and gear, made headlines (and rightfully so) when they announced that they were donating 100% of their Black Friday sales "to grassroots nonprofits working on the frontlines to protect our air, water and soil for future generations." How awesome is that?

One. Hundred. Percent.

It couldn't be more clear to Patagonia's most loyal customers and people discovering the brand for the first time that Black Friday isn't just about the bottom line.  

And guess what the final sales tally was for Patagonia that day?

A cool $10 million. When people say "you vote with your wallet" —I think this is what they mean. #teamplanet

2. REI & #OptOutside

REI #OptOutside Unsplash Photo Hiking

Photo by Michelle Spencer

So while it would have been great to get a Black Friday deal on some camping or hiking equipment, outdoor clothing and gear retailer REI reminded us that the best deal out there is the FREE playground we call nature. 

To the cynics and eye-rollers out there, maybe this type of messaging isn't for you. But as a company that revolves around inspiring people to go explore the planet, this is one of the best ways to drill that message home.

REI's Black Friday was not about savings but actually about savouring—and according to their website counter, over 6 million people were down to take in a moment doing just that.

3. Everlane Black Friday Fund

Photo by Frank McKenna

Everlane, a clothing and accessories brand is all about radical transparency. They believe in making sure they share everything with their customers like what factories they choose and the true cost of each product. 

To stand out amongst the crowd of heavily slashed prices just for the sake of sales, Everlane set up a small mission on Black Friday: to raise money to buy 8,000 of their employees in Vietnam a helmet to get home safe in. With over 20,000 people dying on the roads of Vietnam last year, this is a great example about what it means to be an ethical company and caring about the people who make your products.

Update: goal reached!

4. United by Blue #BlueFriday

United By Blue Clean Up

Photo from unitedbyblue.com

United by Blue, a retailer of sustainable outdoor apparel and accessories decided to paint Black Friday with a new hue. Their #BlueMovement was a call to action for people to take some time (before shopping) to grab a cleanup kit and pick up garbage in their community for an hour. They also opened their stores at 11am so they too could join in on the clean-up fun. 

This clean-up call out fit perfectly with the retailer's mission to remove a pound of trash from the world's oceans for every product they sell. Now that's true blue commitment :)

5. Juniper Ridge for Standing Rock

Photo from juniperridge.com

Juniper Ridge are the makers of wild-harvested perfumes, incense and soaps that can take you to the ocean and back using your scent memories. There is no getting past the fact that Juniper Ridge was born out of a love for the big, bold and fresh smells of mother nature, it is laced in everything they make and the stories they share.

On Black Friday this year, the brand decided they would donate 20% to Standing Rock and posted this on their Instagram

"We always donate 10% of profits to Wilderness Defense, but today, in special defense of water, land and human rights this is where a portion of your spending at Juniper Ridge will go."

Powerful stuff.

These are just 5 businesses and brands who decided to use the Black Friday spotlight to shed light on their true colours and prove that you can choose PEOPLE and the PLANET and change the world with your PROFITS.

#BelieveInBetter

Pela Case is a proud member of 1% for the Planet donating a portion of our revenue to environmental nonprofit organizations.