5 companies that buck the Black Friday trend — from donating 100% of their proceeds to shutting their websites down for the day
- A small handful of stores don't participate in Black Friday discounts, or they instead opt to donate part or all of their proceeds to charities.
- Startups often cite prices that are already as low as possible, and big chains emphasize time with family or environmental values.
Black Friday— once known only as the day after Thanksgiving — is one of the biggest shopping holidays in the U.S.
A vast majority of retailers, large and small, slash prices on commonly gifted or beloved products to what is often their lowest price of the year. These savings entice shoppers — most of whom are uncommonly home from work — to dust off the pie crumbs, leave their warm houses, and snag a flat-screen TV they may otherwise be unable or unwilling to afford. For many small businesses, like Brooklinen, Black Friday is the only shopping holiday they participate in.
However, there is a small handful of businesses that don't participate the way other stores do — either by shutting down completely or pledging to donate a portion of their proceeds to causes they — and presumably their customers — care about. Startups cite prices that are low enough to be considered a year-round sale, and larger companies use the shopping holiday as a way to draw greater attention to environmental values or the radical notion of spending time with family. Below, you'll find five stores doing Black Friday differently.
Looking for deals from brands that are actually having sales? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.
Patagonia made waves in 2016 for pledging to donate 100% of its Black Friday profits — what amounted to more than $10 million — to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect vital natural resources like water, air, and soil.
The company also participates in 1% for the planet, meaning 1% of its annual sales are committed to nonprofit environmental groups. Since 1985, that has amounted to more than $74 million in cash donations fed directly into organizations working in local communities.
If you're looking to shop at Patagonia and want some direction, the company's best-loved products may be their lightweight and super warm down Sweater Jacket ($229), Quarter Zip Better Sweater ($99), and Synchilla Snap-T Pullover ($119). We're also big fans of their Black Hole Duffel ($129) and Micro Puff jackets ($299), which are packable enough to fold up into their own front pocket. But, all in all, you really can't go wrong here.
Everlane has made its name by being transparent, especially in its pricing. The hiccup — depending on how you look at it — is that if you're already selling products at the lowest possible price point, then sales like Black Friday don't really make sense. You're technically on sale all of the time.
For this reason, Everlane does not participate in the typical price slashing of the shopping holiday. You may find some inordinately good deals in their Choose What You Pay section (their version of a sale section), but you won't find any new or popular mainstays down 60% of their original price. Everlane would probably say that's because it technically already is 60% off, all of the time.
However, the company does have a Black Friday Fund, and this year they're partnering with the Surfrider Foundation to donate $260,000 to clean up 20,000 pounds of plastic off beaches. For every order made, Everlane will be donating $13 (which equals one less pound of plastic in the ocean).
If you're planning to shop Everlane and are looking for some direction, we've compiled a list of Everlane essentials we use every day and ranked their best-selling shoes by comfort. We particularly love the Day Gloves ($115)— going so far as to rank them the best flats you can buy— as well as the $100 cashmere and $68 Authentic Stretch Denim, which never bags out.
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For the last three years, REI has boycotted Black Friday, instead encouraging all people to delay their hectic holiday shopping and instead spend time outdoors, preferably with loved ones. Last year, the Co-op didn't process online orders on Friday but paid all 12,000 employees (even hourly workers) for their time. However, the company does offer Cyber Week deals that are still worth skimming.
The company will be offering 35% off sitewide, so technically it is having a sale, but it will be donating a portion of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday proceeds to The Osborne Foundation, a recent partner of STATE's #WhatDoWeTellTheKids initiative.
Cuyana is an apparel and accessories brand best known for its beautiful but relatively affordable leather goods and the mission of "fewer, better things" in a closet. Everything is made with an attention to craftsmanship and from premium materials, and it's one of our favorite work bag startups.
On Black Friday, Cuyana will be donating a percentage of your purchase to the victims of the fires in California.