“We’re not going to be on Black Friday. I hope these days go ‘
Former Comic Relief CEO Liz Warner launched Different Kind this month to encourage small-scale producers, especially minorities and people with disabilities, selling everything from East London chocolate, Cornwall ceramics and Shetland soap.
A socially conscious new online retailer urges consumers to forget about Black Friday and instead support local, independent businesses in the UK and abroad.
Ms. Warner said Different Kind is a social enterprise whose profits are being reinvested in the artisans who supply it.
she said I: “We want to make responsible shopping accessible and change shopping habits.
“We’re not just removing plastic or donating £ 1 per purchase to charity – we’re going a lot further.
“We are driven by the need to be economically viable and we will reinvest in people who otherwise would not have a platform. Many have amazing stories. “
Ms. Warner added that she would rather see consumers change through their purchases rather than rush to find “questionable” Black Friday deals.
You quoted a Which? Report that found nine out of ten Black Friday deals in the six months leading up to the day were the same or cheaper, adding that a large amount of the electrical appliances purchased ended up in the landfill.
“Still – it’s a cynical event and it wasn’t born of our country,” she said. “It was started in America to sell products during a dead time on its retail calendar.
“Instead of this consumer frenzy of buying things that we don’t need, why not shop sensibly and help people. I think lockdown pushed people away from the faceless giants of retail.
Gary Fulton, a one-armed potter from Hayle, Cornwall, who lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident in 2003 and learned ceramics in prison, is already registered with the dealer.
Another is the Girls Who Grind Coffee group, a feminist roastery based in Warminster, Wiltshire that only buys beans from female producers in developed countries who otherwise may earn less than their male counterparts or miss the trade.
Also included is a Barking-based chocolatier who sources raw beans direct from Nigeria, makes chocolates in a communal kitchen, and a glassmaker in Eswatini, South Africa who uses fuel made from recycled KFC cooking oil.
Sarah Davidson, Business Manager at Cope Limited in Shetland, Scotland, works with people with learning disabilities to make Shetland soap.
She said the brand is aiming for “internationalization” and hopes to launch in the mainland soon.
“This [the website] will help us find and scale new customers, ”she said.
“We can offer jobs to adults with learning disabilities, especially autism, and help them gain skills, confidence and offer work.
“I find it more important than ever to shop with a clear conscience. People are jaded with big corporations and are looking for alternatives.
“It’s buying soap, but that’s how customers help people. Everyone has the right to work if they want. This is about opportunities and a positive contribution to society.
“We’re not going to be on Black Friday. I hope these days will pass. “