Fans of discounts and promotional offers are well aware that the last Friday of November is the world-famous Black Friday. That day makes purchasing all kinds of goods and services possible at the best prices.
It became a good practice for most offline and online stores to start selling much earlier than usual. Black Friday 2022 is not an exception. Since the beginning of the week, we have been watching the drops of the "first snowflakes" from the avalanche of discounts. It will fall on our attention on November 25.
- An interesting fact is that on Black Friday, people in some countries take time off work to spend as much money as they can and buy anything that's on their wish list.
Such a "pursuit" of purchases often leads buyers to fill their shopping carts not only with worthy things but also with entirely unnecessary stuff, and the entire phenomenon is called spontaneous purchase. Well, that isn't uncommon because to attract the attention of customers, stores use various marketing methods:
- inviting slogans on the web store pages;
- bright design with numerous hints that the discounts period is coming to end soon;
- sending promotional messages to all store customers by email or text, etc.
However, buyers rarely consider the other side of regular organized discounts and what resources are actually used to make those products. Sellers won't talk about it in slogans and won't send emails on that topic.
But we all need to remember, for example, that the smartphone you are holding in your hand right now contains over 100 grams of metals and various other materials. It takes at least 30kg of rock to create one mobile phone, which uses around 13 tons water for manufacturing processes like extraction or smelting; not including any wasted material that doesn't end up being used throughout production!
That's why the opponents of Black Friday came up with White Monday as a great counterbalance. This idea comes up due to the need to pay special attention to the overconsumption of products, to the depletion of the resources used. Henning Gillberg was the first who came up with this idea. A Swedish circular economy entrepreneur launched the "White Monday" movement in his home country. The movement adherents spread White Monday's popularity to empower consumers to action: to purchase repaired, reused, recycled, or upcycled items rather than choosing new ones.
What is White Monday or Circular Economy?
The modern commerce world operates on the principle of a linear economic model. The presented model is built as follows: "take -> produce -> use -> throw away." It's the main problem! As a result, we regularly increase the total amount of waste. According to world statistics, about 75-80% are sent to landfills in the first 5-6 months after purchase, even though a lot of precious natural resources were spent on producing one such product.
The White Monday movement led to the implementation, popularization, and development of the principle of a "circular economy." It's the transition to an entirely new consuming model, which will reduce waste production. We must ensure that all extracted helpful resources can and should be reused. Therefore, it's possible to significantly reduce the cost of working resources, reduce emissions into the atmosphere, and optimize waste production.
For example, many furniture manufacturers can reuse chipboard sheets, stretch film, and other materials previously used to create all kinds of interior items for packaging. Some online platforms in different countries specifically replenish their range of products made exclusively from waste involved in the creation of other products. It has also been calculated that by 2050, the circular economy will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%.
A feature of the cyclical economy is that all valuable resources are returned to production and don't end up in a landfill. And after special processing, manufacturers can create new products from it.
Manufacturing companies should gradually slow the pace of product creation: making fewer items but more high-quality is better than creating tons of low-quality goods. Thus, a quality product has a long service life and is considered maintainable. This idea became the basis for the modern circular economy.
Many products offered on the shelves of various stores are not suitable for long-term use. The authorities in some countries have taken measures to ensure that old products are used as much as possible and not just thrown away. For example, in 2020, the EU countries developed and implemented a new action plan regarding the active development of the circular economy.
What can online stores do now?
White Monday is a day that online stores worldwide can use as a counter to the famous Black Friday. All this was conceived with a critical goal: to promote sustainable circular consumption of all kinds of goods.
Thus, you can encourage your buyers by:
- Offer incentives for sustainable consumption
- Use biodegradable and recycled materials for packaging
- Offer service of accepting unwanted items for recycling or donation
- Offer rent instead of buy
- Supporting local businesses
The organizers of this great movement offer store owners the opportunity to join and actively disseminate useful information using thematic hashtags through posts on social media, advertisements, emails etc.
Saving the world from unnecessary consumption is not rocket science. Every online store can take a small step and help. Be conscious and arrange promotions like "bring your old phone and get a discount on a new one." White Monday is intended to remind us that the quality of the products to sell must be at its best. Whether it's appliances or clothes, things must last a long time.