Every year on the 26th and the 29th of November we have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We see and hear about million of shoppers waiting in lines for hours ready to burst through the doors and fight over the best deals. Sadly, ”fight-over” is often what literally happens. As a species, this is a blemish; we are better than this!
At Uccello, we have chosen to follow the growing number of companies in an effort to address the bigger issue which is consumerism. We are standing on the shoulders of giants who have led this initiative since 2011 and my words here are not unique. I’, repeating what those braver than me have uttered a decade ago, but as a fledge ling company, pursuing growth, the most challenging and important pathway we need to follow now is to lighten our environmental footprint.
Businesses need to produce fewer things but at a higher quality, where customers need to think twice before they buy.
Why This Stance?
Almost everything that is manufactured is taking something from the planet that we can’t give back. Each product, whether or not it uses recycled materials, emits:
- Several times its weight in greenhouse gases
- Generate at least another quarter in volume worth of scrap
- Uses energy derived from fossil fuel
- Draws down copious amounts of freshwater which is now growing scarce
That being said, we are in business to make money and sell our assistive living products. Our employees have mortgages, families, education fees, medical bills etc. just like everyone else. Here at Uccello, we design and manufacture products that help people stay independent at home for longer, and we believe that these offer improvements to people’s lives that can be life changing. This is what get’s us out of bed every day. Moreover, we are a growing business, expanding our product range, and growing our geographical footprint, selling in over 13 countries now.
What do we tell customers who might accuse us of hypocrisy?
It’s part of our mission to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
It would be hypocritical for us to work towards environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy. In order to reduce environmental damage, we all have to reduce consumption as well as make products in a more environmentally safe and less harmful way.
It’s not hypocrisy for us to to address the need to reduce consumption. On the other hand, it is a folly to assume that a healthy economy can be based on buying and selling more and more things that people don’t need – and it is time for people who believe that it is folly, to say so.
Nevertheless, as we’ve mentioned, Uccello is a growing business – and we intend to be in business for a long time. Here to provide independence and restore confidence for our customers. The test of our sincerity (or our hypocrisy) will be if everything we sell is:
- Multifunctional where possible
- Long lasting
- Stylish and beautiful but not in thrall to fashion
We’re not yet entirely there but we are getting there, and out social impact policy will serve as a framework to advance us toward these goals.
85% of retailers won’t be participating in Black Friday
This year, 85% of independent retailers will not be participating in Black Friday: this is the highest figure ever recorded by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).
I invite you to join us in talking about Anti Black Friday, as a sustainable brand, we do not agree or promote this mass consumption event. Instead we opt for Green Friday.
This means that 10% of all sales placed on Friday or over the weekend will go towards our chosen charities that help to empower poverty stricken or trafficked women. Because:
“The only way to bring a society out of poverty, is to educate the women. An educated girl is likely to increase her personal earning potential, as well as reduce poverty in her community…. Educated women are empowered to take a greater economic role in their families and communities, and they tend to reinvest 90% of what they earn into their families”
– Christopher Hitchens
MD of Uccello Designs