This will be the ‘Black Friday’ of product recycling, fashion and sustainability


This year’s ‘Black Friday’ day comes with some news who promise to stay Not just the supposed ones’mega sales‘, which force you to fill the virtual shopping cart, but also the increasingly sustainable campaigns. Seems paradoxical let recycling go hand in hand with the grand opening of Christmas shopping. However, more and more firms are joining these initiatives and showing us that another way of approaching consumption may be possible.

or at least that says Raquél Sádaba, dean of the ISEM ‘Fashion Business School’ of the University of Navarrathat, although he understands that in a philosophical sense there is a contradiction between the circular economy and constant novelty, “in a pragmatic sense, textile products – for example – can be recycled without considering the brand or manufacturing style, rather what is important they are the fibers and fabrics used”, explains the dean.

In this sense, Sádaba reports that “recycling is one more way for the consumer to get closer to the product” and is committed to generating “a different way of understanding things”. A defense of the coexistence between an economic attitude, consumption, and a way of understanding that attitude, sustainability. Franc Carreras, a professor at Esade and an expert in digital marketing, supports this coexistence. The teacher explains that promoting recycling does not necessarily mean having to give up ‘Black Friday’.

An example of this is the Vodafone campaign for this entire month. The phone company launches its nickname ‘green friday‘: Their stores will accept your old devices and give you additional discounts in return. It is a commitment to recycling in which they make you participate “to help you and help the planet,” they explain. Although the company should strive to keep this line ‘green’ the rest of the year, since, according to Carreras, “customers read the continuity of these actions and the long-term commitment. It is important that the consumer demands that these measures are not punctual and punishes all those that are clearly intentional and artificial so that brands learn what to do the right thing is not the enemy of being profitable”. Movistar It has also incorporated it into its campaign for this ‘Black Friday’ with its ‘buyback’ offer, thus responding to Telefónica’s sustainability commitments.

But fashion has been working on recycling for a long time, starting with the use of materials that had already had a previous life. Quique Díaz, CEO of PR Territorya communication agency that manages several fashion firms, reports that in his case, “the relationship with sustainability is maintained throughout the year.” Menorca estuarymanufacturer of traditional Menorcan sandals since 1947, produces with not so traditional models: the brand has a vegan line and another of recycled plastic materials. “All the material of the abarca is recycled. Regarding the soles, instead of putting on the typical rubber soles, what is done are specific outings in Menorca and the materials are collected to recycle and reuse them”, explains Díaz.

ecoalf It is another of the great Spanish names that is committed to sustainability and all its fabrics come from recycling; with a special focus on the reuse of plastic from the oceans. This Black Friday, 0% discounts will be applied to bet on responsible consumption.

But the giants of the fashion sector are also adding more to sustainability from various sources. One of the examples is the flagship brand of Inditex: Zara. In addition to betting on supporting smaller firms: “Zara by Ria Menorca” was one of the capsules that the Amancio Ortega star opted for last season, it also applies sustainable standards to the manufacture of its products. Secondly, because regarding the impulses for more ‘green friendly’ measures, Zara gives a turn towards sustainability with projects such as the opening of a recycled second-hand clothing section in its large store in the United Kingdom.

Another big one that is listed in this model is Levi’s. The firm is committed to this line with its ‘Levi’s Back To Eco’ programme, a project with the Catalan association ‘Back To Eco’ that it will make available to customers collection points in their stores to leave old denim garments, with the intention of giving them a second life. These types of campaigns generate “a very important public impact because consumers begin to see Other options and a different fashion culture is created”, defends Teresa Sádaba.

Black Friday with 0% discounts

Regarding the coexistence between sustainability, recycling and ‘Black Friday’, other fashion firms take into account that the textile industry It is the second most polluting in the world -after oil, according to the UN- and they become aware. The CEO of Pr. Territory explains that this year many businesses “are not going to attend events like ‘Black Friday’ because they consider that the only thing they are contributing to is the destruction of the planet. Despite the fact that it usually hurts us at the sales level because they stop, we continue with the ‘Full Price’ model. As if nothing happened.”

Another company that has sustainability in its DNA, as advocated by its CMO (chief marketing officer) Alexander Fernandez, is Flamingo’s Life, a brand of vegan sneakers made in Spain and Portugal. “Everything we do is done with that point of view in mind. The sale of each shoe model is associated with a specific social project with which trees are planted, plastics are collected from the ocean and water wells are built“, Explain. The brand’s attitude towards the next day of mass consumption will be to close its online store.

“‘Black Friday’ brings with it serious ecological degradation and extreme forms of labor exploitation, the planet suffers the worst consequences, being highly affected by polluting emissions and the waste generated,” says Fernández. “For their part, the workers involved are forced to work overtime in appalling conditions in order to meet the demanding requirements of the industry,” a situation the company is not willing to go through.

Some sector brands join this initiative. Among them the manufacturers of bags and backpacks Freitag, Mud jeans or the brand of wardrobe basics Asket, all are committed to separating their service from ‘Black Friday’, an initiative that recalls the revolution that began in 2011 Patagonia. The firm urged at that time not to consume under the text ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ and since then, to its constant awareness programs, specific projects were added for these dates. The last one, this year, challenges us not to “‘save’ by spending more”, slow down the pace and “think about the bond we all build with our clothes”. The company is also committed to making us aware of reusing and recycling damaged garments.

In this way, Franc Carreras explains that the American “has managed to seize ‘Black Friday’ to turn it into an occasion, not only for sales, but also for claiming and supporting sustainability.” “This is so because when we communicate as a brand, an action always says more than a word, a phrase or a nice slogan”, he explains.

However, and returning to the duality of the principle, why would a company be interested in betting on sustainable programs? Because sustainable is profitable, or at least that’s what the Esade marketing expert defends. “A brand has an interest in being positive for society because that way society will want to continue having it,” says Carreras. “There is no reason to think that even if in the short term it requires some necessary changes in the organization, that long-term it cannot be profitable”, he adds.

For this reason, all the experts predict a future where sustainability and, specifically, recycling will have a place as one of the main pillars of our way of consuming, our lifestyle and our companies. Alvaro Lunaprofessor of the Environment Degree at the European University, assures that “the next steps are going to be greater responsibility in each of the processes that have to do with companies: where their raw materials come from, the Quality of the products they offer, respect for the basic rightsthe adequate management of the contamination derived from obtaining the resources, as well as that obtained in the production processes and the generated waste itself”.

For his part, Fran Carreras considers that the technology It will be a fundamental tool for this green path: “it will allow us different ways of practicing this recycling without meaning a great sacrifice. At the same time, it will also open up opportunities for cheaper, more sustainable and even more comfortable”.


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