Black Friday is serious business for retailers. But every year, the Unbelts team has a hard time embracing the shopping weekend. We brace for it instead.
There are a couple of reasons why we don’t love Black Friday. First, we feel weird about selling for selling’s sake. Do we want to make money? Oh, heck yes. Those dollars pay for our studio's rent, our inventory, our team’s salaries, and our families’ health benefits. But we believe that most of us need less, not more, and the public interest in downsizing /decluttering indicates that you agree. So… if you don’t need belts and masks right now, we totally get it! We’d rather you shop with us on your schedule, not The Man’s.
This brings us to reason number two. Those dollars that you trade us for products - we do a lot more with them than pay ourselves. We spend them on:
- Materials and labour from suppliers who believe, like we do, in paying workers living wages
- Materials that are made to last, and that are better for the planet
- The free repairs that come with your Unbelts’ warranty
They also give us the flexibility to give back year-round, especially when our community needs us.
When we offer deep discounts, we lose the flexibility to fulfill our true purpose: to use business as a force for good.
That’s why, this year, we’re stepping aside this weekend and leaving the massive markdowns to the bigger businesses who’ve got a lot more padding in their budgets. Here are a couple things that we're doing instead:
- For every belt you purchase from November 26 - 30, Unbelts will donate $5 to support the AWHF's funding of the HOPE Platform which will expand the tool's reach to women across all ages and stages of life in Canada. The HOPE Platform is a comprehensive and evidence-based digital mental health tool that offers ongoing mental health support to women when and where they need it most. You can learn more about that here.
- This week we opened our Edmonton pop-up store, and we LOVE being able to safely welcome people into our space to shop and try on belts. We have some exclusive items and bundles that you can’t find on our website, and those will be available for the rest of the holiday season.
This has been a year of challenges and big leaps of faith. We've learned so much, and have loved the chance it's given us to show up for community - and for our community to show up for us. Taking a different path, especially on the most important revenue weekend of the year, is a pretty scary leap. Our whole team thanks you for your trust in us.
This post was originally published November 26, 2020, and has been updated for 2021.