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Allbirds joins Black Friday backlash

Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds will empty its London flagship this Black Friday (29 November) in a bid to encourage more conscious consumerism.

No product will be available to purchase at Allbirds’ Seven Dials store, which will instead play host to workshops and events designed to improve consumers’ understanding of the brand and its values.

“We want to use Black Friday to take a bit of a stand,” Allbirds managing director for Europe Sandeep Verma told Drapers. “We wanted to do something different and give consumers the chance to come to the store and learn more about Allbirds.

“Hopefully, they’ll go home asking questions about how their footwear is made, about the brands they’re buying and what they’re doing for the environment. We’re being a bit more considered on the busiest day of them all, when there will be big red Sales signs on lots of the stores in Covent Garden.”

Events at the store on Black Friday will include a eucalyptus wreath-making workshop and a recycled wool pom-pom making session, led by do-it-yourself knitting specialists Wool and the Gang. Allbirds uses both eucalyptus and recycled wool within its products. Singers Iyamah and Sam Wills will also perform an acoustic gig.

Verma added: “We want to combine purpose and profit. Irresponsible consumerism is a problem and encouraging consumers to make considered purchases comes back to them asking questions of brands.”

Allbirds is not the only brand to be taking a more sustainable approach to this November’s Black Friday shopping extravaganza.

Christopher Raeburn will close all its stores and instead encourage consumers to visit the Raeburn Lab in Hackney, where it will be offering free alternations on any garment from any brand.

Outerwear brand 66 North will not discount and will donate 25% of all online sales during Black Friday to Landvernd, an environmental non-profit organisation that safeguards Icelandic nature.

Consumer group Which slammed Black Friday ‘hype’ earlier this week, warning consumers that many of the discounts on offer do not represent genuine deals.

An investigation by Which tracked the price of 83 products that went on Sale during last year’s shopping event and found that all but four were cheaper at other times of the year.

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