Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, with steep discounts and huge sales. But a growing number of brands are branching away from typical Black Friday sales and using the day to take a stand, make a difference, or connect with customers. Customers care about what a brand stands for—82% of customers want a brand’s values to align with their own and will take their business elsewhere if that’s not the case.
Here are 10 companies going against Black Friday trends:
- Everlane. Clothing company Everlane is known for its focus on transparency. It continues its effort to do good in the world with its Black Friday Fund, which donates to a charity with every purchase. Since 2014, Everlane’s Black Friday Fund has raised over $1.3 million for its partners. In 2022, Everlane is donating $1 from every purchase to TreePeople.
- Google. For the past two years, Google turned Black Friday into #BlackOwnedFriday and used its massive platform to highlight and support Black-owned businesses. It created a video and collection of dozens of products and directed site visitors to search for “black-owned shops near me” to support local businesses.
- Ikea. The furniture company launched a Black Friday campaign called #BuybackFriday to encourage customers to sell their used and unwanted furniture back to the store instead of just throwing it away. Ikea used Black Friday to highlight its larger, long-term sustainability goals and get customers involved in the movement.
- Deciem. Instead of focusing sales on one frenzied day, beauty brand Deciem offers discounts for the entire month of November, which it calls Slowvember. All products are discounted equally so customers don’t feel rushed and can shop slowly and make educated purchasing decisions.
- Freitag. The maker of bags from recycled materials encourages customers to change Black Friday from a shopping day to a swapping day. On Black Friday, Freitag shuts down its online store and re-directs customers to its S.W.A.P. exchange platform. It even hosts in-person exchange events on Black Friday at select stores.
- Allbirds. In 2020, shoe brand Allbirds actually raised prices instead of discounting on Black Friday. Prices for every pair of its sustainable shoes went up by $1, and that money was donated to climate organization called Fridays for Future.
- Fjällräven. Popular bag and outdoor gear brand Fjallraven uses Black Friday to draw attention to its long-lasting items, calling it “Long-Term Investment Friday.” Instead of pushing customers to buy a new coat every year, the brand points out that its products last for decades. It encourages customers to purchase a long-term investment piece but doesn’t encourage overconsumption or push sales.
- Ocean Bottle. In 2021, the recycled water bottle brand said it didn’t want people’s business. Instead, it shared an Instagram post on Black Friday highlighting small businesses that needed support.
- Monki. The H&M Group-owned clothing brand has opted out of Black Friday since 2019. Customers can still shop normally on Black Friday but without any discounts. The bold move aims to bring change to fast fashion, which is notorious for producing huge amounts of waste.
- Alohas. Sustainable fashion brand Alohas offers on-demand discounts to customers who make intentional purchases instead of shopping on impulse during Black Friday. Customers purchase the items before they are manufactured, which limits waste and overconsumption. Alohas calls it a reward for sustainable shopping.
Black Friday doesn’t have to be all about huge discounts. No matter how you celebrate—through sales, donations, or nothing—be sure it showcases your values and resonates with customers.
Blake Morgan was called “The Queen of Customer Experience” by Meta. She is a keynote speaker, bestselling author and futurist. Sign up for her weekly email here.