Here at TALA we pride ourselves on caring about sustainability, we always have and always will, and that’s why we find it important to talk about why we participate in sales. We’re not ones to shy away from difficult subjects, we understand that being in the business of sustainably-minded fashion is an incredibly complex space, so we’ve listed out some questions that we ask ourselves. Then, as always, the decision of whether to shop with us or at all is all yours.
Have more questions? Think we missed something? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org - we’re here to talk.
WHY WOULD A BRAND LIKE TALA PARTICIPATE IN BLACK FRIDAY?
As a part of the fashion industry, we’re going to be honest, this time of year is important. We’re never going to pretend that black friday doesn't benefit us, it does. And yes, this feeds into consumerism, so we are part of the problem. But we hope we can be part of the solution too. We don't believe that shouting at people to stop consumption altogether is really the answer to changing the entire industry - for some people that might be possible, but for others we know it won’t. We know you have gifts to buy and we know you might be excited to finally be able to afford that pair of flares you’ve been eyeing up all year. We’re not here to guilt you out of shopping completely (unless that was your plan, in which case stick to it!), but we think we can play a role in making better decisions possible.
We exist within a wider industry, and one that is shouting more and more about steals, deals, and limited time offers. Your feeds are full of promos. Your inboxes are full of discount codes. If we, and other like-minded mission-driven brands, sat out this period, you would only have the option to buy fast fashion, or brands with inflated prices that don’t even make their products with sustainability in mind.
You have the power to vote with your dollars and pounds this Black Friday; if you are planning to shop, we understand that this is a time of year that our prices need to become even more accessible. Our mission of disruption can’t happen if more sustainable options aren’t accessible at times like this, which is what would happen if brands like us abstained completely from this period.
HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU HAVE SUSTAINABILITY BASED VALUES WHILE PARTICIPATING IN BLACK FRIDAY?
One of our core values is accessibility, and Black Friday is an opportunity for us to extend accessibility just a little bit further by reducing prices on products (that we already stock). Our mission is not to be the smallest, most sustainable business; our mission is to disrupt a booming, multi-billion dollar industry that often doesn’t do so much as think about sustainability. We’re not perfect: often we order too little (no one talks about this year’s bomber!) and sometimes too much. By offering a discount, we are lowering the barriers to purchasing our bestsellers and most popular products at a time of year where fast fashion options are all the more appealing (remember those 99% off sales?). Sales are a valuable tool for us to bring products at a more accessible price point to people who will treasure them, and also to support our work of never sending stock to landfill. Of course, it’s in our interest to sell all our pieces at full price before it gets to sale, but unfortunately that can’t always be the case, in any business.
TALA participates in Black Friday sales in line with a carefully thought out pledge. If you want to buy clothes and are going to shop anyway, (we understand there are leggings to replace and gifts to buy) we want you to at least be able to consider a more sustainable option. We won't pretend Black Friday doesn't benefit us, it does. And yes, this feeds into consumerism, so we are part of the problem, but we can also use Black Friday to be part of the solution by enhancing our core value to be a more affordable and responsible brand, and by forwarding our pledge to keep products out of landfill.
We never compromise our core sustainability values, in sale periods or any other time:
- We only make our products using upcycled, recycled and/or natural materials.
- We work with ethical, accredited factories (and we share details about them on our site).
- We champion quality and durability in our products so you can wear them over and over.
- We never make products specifically for sale.
- We never send stock to landfill or destruction.
- Sales will never impact the cost we pay our suppliers for the product or the wages of our workers as accredited under the globally recognised social and environmental standards.
If we can get any person to consider their purchases with these factors in mind, whether you choose to buy from TALA or not, we will have taken a step in the right direction.
As of October 2023, we also are really proud to have launched our ReTALA programme. You can now send back any TALA pieces you no longer wear, where our partner Reskinned takes on the responsibility of keeping them out of landfill through a transparent process of reselling, repurposing, or recycling, and giving them new life.
Sounds good right? Watch our journey with Reskinned here and learn how you can take part.
BLACK FRIDAY + CONSUMERISM = THE TRUE COST FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET EXPLAINED.
Big brands generally bring consumers the latest trends at worryingly low prices. With shorter production timelines and huge quantities of stock to produce, this can put enormous pressure on workers to meet the brands’ deadlines. Production at this scale can be highly sensitive to environmental and social exploitation.
From brands refusing to pay workers for orders during Covid-19, to the devastating effects of the Rana Plaza Factory Collapse in 2013¹. The true environmental cost of the fashion industry is vast; over 30% of clothing has not been worn in at least 1 year according to WRAP².
The fashion industry itself is the third-largest industrial polluter³. According to the Carbon Literacy Project, it is responsible for nearly 10% of global greenhouse gases. The UK alone sends 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfills each year.⁴
Shockingly, manufacturing is responsible for 50% of all natural resource extraction worldwide. Its consumption accounts for one-sixth of global freshwater, one-quarter of wood, and one-quarter of global waste.³
SO WHAT NEXT?
This Black Friday, we’ll be talking about our amazing products and our best offers, but we will also drive awareness of the impact of overconsumption to encourage consumers to only buy what they need. We hope that this way, you’ll be able to shop ‘better’, if you choose to shop, whether that is with us, or anyone else within the industry - the decision is yours!
¹ “Rana Plaza - Clean Clothes Campaign”, The Clean Clothes Campaign.
² “Love Your Clothes - WRAP”, WRAP.
³ “The 7 Biggest Polluters by Industry in 2022”, Environmental Protection online.
⁴ “Climate Change & Fashion Waste Colonialism” Carbon Literacy, February 2023