As a brand that vocally cares about sustainability, we always find it important to talk about why we participate in sales. We’re not ones to shy away from difficult subjects, so we’ve listed out some questions we asked ourselves here because we want to be totally transparent with you. Have more questions? Think we missed something? Let us know at email@example.com - we’re here to talk.
WHY WOULD A BRAND LIKE TALA PARTICIPATE IN BLACK FRIDAY?
Let’s be real. As a fashion business, the ‘holiday period’ is an important time of the year. And, what’s more, we don't believe that shouting at people to stop consumption altogether is really the answer to changing the entire industry - 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 more 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 more sustainably.
You have the power to vote with your dollars and pounds on 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 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 (!) and sometimes too much. By offering a site-wide discount, we are lowering the barriers to purchasing our best sellers 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 always keeping TALA products out of landfill. Of course, it’s in our interest to sell them all at full price before it gets to this point, but unfortunately that can never 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 activewear and were 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 sustainably-made brand, and by forwarding our pledge to keep product out of landfill.
DOES BLACK FRIDAY CHANGE WHAT YOU DO?
We never compromise our core sustainability values, in sale periods or any other time:
- we make all of our products using more responsible materials;
- we only 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.
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. Read on for a deep dive from our amazing ESG Manager, Hannah.
We are part of the problem and the solution. Still, want to buy TALA? We’ll let you decide.
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 is 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 second-largest industrial polluter, accounting for 10% of global pollution, ranking higher than emissions from air travel³. According to the Carbon Literacy Project, from manufacturing to transportation to, ultimately, ending up in landfill, in total, 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are released by the fashion industry every year. Fueling the linear economy which means raw materials are collected and transformed into products that are used until they eventually are wasted (usually ending up in landfill or polluting our environment).
AT TALA. RESPONSIBLY MADE AND RECYCLED, UPCYCLED OR NATURAL: ALWAYS.
Recycled and Innovative Materials:
Our fits contain certified recycled content or innovative materials. Whether it's utilising factory offcuts, plastic bottles or wood pulp from sustainable forests, we are seriously dedicated to minimising our environmental impact through conscious design.
100% Responsibly sourced:
People are at the core of what we do. Built on shared values and collaboration, our suppliers are our partners.
All of TALA’s suppliers are independently audited and certified to meet globally recognised social and environmental standards.
CHOOSE CONSCIOUSLY, IF YOU BUY: BUY LESS, BUY BETTER
TALA’s mission has always been to make more sustainable options accessible and inclusive and to show the industry that better options CAN be made. That’s exactly why we launched after all. We aim to get just one more person to think more about their purchases - who made them, what they're made from, and why they need them. Whether you choose to buy from TALA or not, we will have taken a step in the right direction.
This is why we are on a path to breaking barriers to enhance the accessibility of our products and credentials. With sustainable options often having premium prices, and the cost of living crisis, we can't hope to change consumer habits towards sustainability without providing alternative options to mass market alternatives. We exist to show the industry that better options CAN be made, if and when you choose to shop.
TALA items are not a passing trend, we want your TALA pieces to stay in your wardrobe, to mix and match with friends, and to complement a capsule wardrobe. We take part in Black Friday for more than one day, to allow our shoppers time to make considered and conscious choices before purchasing and to go against the ‘rush’ that we see illustrated traditionally for Black Friday.
Shifting towards a circular economy, and business models that align with this are a solution often discussed in the world of sustainability. This means; a fashion industry that creates products to be:
- used more
- made from safe, renewable, or recycled inputs
- made to be made again (the holy grail of sustainability!)
Our production process includes planning and research into responsible materials and processes, and it can take 6 months+ to bring a product to market. All of our clothing and accessories are designed to provide accessible, on-trend alternatives to mass market alternatives, whilst never compromising on responsibility or style. We’re still at the start of our journey, continuously learning and taking steps every day to lead, through collaboration with our teams, suppliers, and brands.
¹ “Rana Plaza - Clean Clothes Campaign”, The Clean Clothes Campaign.
² “Love Your Clothes - WRAP”, WRAP.
³ “Fast Fashion’s Carbon Footprint”, The Carbon Literacy Project.