From the lofty heights of Jackal towers we can see all the way down Regent Street, including the part where it intersects with Oxford Street. On Black Friday it’s a teeming mass of hopeful shoppers, drawn in by the flashing 50 per cent off signs that have popped up overnight.
Part of the American Thanksgiving tradition, Black Friday has steadily grown in prominence over the last decade or so, as has celebrating the day itself. And while we’ll always get behind a slap-up turkey dinner, The Jackal is not doing Black Friday this year, here’s why.
Quality not quantity
Although an interest in style – and ergo clothes – sits at the heart of The Jackal’s DNA, fast fashion most certainly does not. Quality, heritage and craftsmanship are our watchwords – whether that’s a cashmere scarf, a pair of suede loafers or a tailored winter coat. We’re not into fleeting fads or the kind of trends that roll over on a weekly basis on the high street. Fleeting fads are rarely synonymous with good style. That’s not to say we’re snobs; we love a bargain as much as anyone, so long as it really, truly is good value for money – and doesn’t compromise on great fabrics, sharp cuts and premium finishes. Will you find all that in a Black Friday sale? We’re doubtful.
Black Friday’s rampant consumerism is also a sustainability nightmare. Research released earlier this year revealed that Britons throw away an average of eight items of perfectly wearable clothing a year, totally £12.5 billion in value. This, paired with reality that over 100 billion new garments are made every year with a serious environmental impact, including water pollution and toxic chemicals, makes those Black Friday deals taste a lot less sweet. Still have the urge to spend? Why not buy vintage, instead – it’s more sustainable, and more satisfying to boot.
Independent thinking pays off
Many smaller brands simply aren’t able to offer the deals and discounts that high street retailers bank on come Black Friday – and who can blame them? If your product is crafted with care, attention and the luxury of time, why should you give it away for less than half its value? Instead, check out our guide to the best independent designers, and our round-up of London’s finest craftspeople. We can promise your fashion fix will feel all the better for it.
The best brands aren’t on sale, anyway
Judging by the heaving mass of sales signs along Oxford Street, and the deluge of ‘25 per cent off EVERYTHING’ emails flying around, you’d be forgiven for thinking everywhere is holding a sale. Not so – many of the best brands aren’t participating this year. For instance, sustainable Swedish brand Asket has transformed its online shop into a ‘Garment Care’ advice site, showing its customers how to take care of their clothes and lengthen their life spans. Patagonia, on the other hand, is extending its charity initiative by using its stores to support various environmental charities and initiatives. Sneaker brand Veja, which often appears in our edits, has rejected the day altogether, saying in an Instagram post that ‘it isn’t a game we like to play any more…we want to live in a world where Friday is just a normal Friday.’ Cheers to that.
If you’re not willing to pay full price, do you really want it?
With all of the above in mind – sustainability, quality, independent design and craft – on Black Friday all your purchasing decisions should really come down to one simple question: if you won’t buy it at full price, do you really want it? If the answer’s hand-on-heart no, then put it down and walk out the shop. And that counts for the other 364 days of the year, too.