In case you haven't heard, we're doing Black Friday a little differently this year.
We're tired of mindless shopping – we want you to 'buy less, buy better' – so we're encouraging you to thoughtfully treat yourself with a good cause in mind rather than buying yourself a bunch of stuff you don't need just because it's cheap.
Instead of slashing our prices, we're giving 25% of our profits on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (the 27th and 28th November) to a local charity. whose fashion-forward mission totally aligns with our ethos, and helps the lives of the vulnerable and needy too.
Meet Clothes For Causes. Founded over five years ago in our favourite neck of the woods (Greenwich!), they're an entirely volunteer-run non-profit whose vision is to help those in the area and all across London struggling with a life on the streets. Some sobering statistics for you: London is the location of 60% of the nation's dishoused, where one in every 52 people are homeless, and over 10,000 people sleep rough on the streets every year. The number of people in these situations has increased sharply in recent years, and projects like Clothes For Causes often struggle to find the funding they need to do this vital work, with cuts to social services making it even harder to help those in need.
This hasn't stopped them though. Even with COVID-19's massive impact on the retail sector, their shop on Trafalgar Road remains full to the brim with stylish secondhand picks, from Burberry trenches to beautifully customised Nikes, with all funds going towards their mission. It's a lovely place to have a browse for something old-but-new, and we'd certainly recommend heading down there for a browse once things are open again. (It's only a ten minute walk from us!) If you simply can't wait, they can also be found hanging out on Depop.
Stylish fits aside, the hard work going on at Clothes For Causes is a genuinely invaluable thing. All their in-store profits and donations fund the provision of new essential items: sleeping bags, toiletries, tents, thermal socks, hats, scarfs & clothing. These are distributed at their spot at Agar Street in Charing Cross, where upwards of 400 members of London’s homeless and needy population are helped every two weeks. During lockdown they've continued this practice as safely as they can, putting themselves at risk to keep people safe – perhaps the most valuable thing that anyone could do in this unprecedented time.
Clothes For Causes believe that providing essential items and fresh, warm clothing is an underestimated service, providing dignity to compassion to those less fortunate, often left for long periods with no access to hygiene facilities and exposed to the elements, unsanitary conditions, and the cruelties of a life on the street. In their 5+ years of activity, they've helped over 5000 people each year, distributing in excess of 15,000 items to people in need.
Veronique from Clothes for Causes told us that "Your purchases and support with Meet Bernard's extremely generous offer will enable us to acquire more essential items such as thermal scarfs and gloves, winter socks and sleeping bags to distribute through the coming cold weather.
Although we can’t solve homelessness or the effects of austerity, we believe in direct action and bringing some kind of comfort and care to those less fortunate this Christmas."
So, this Black Friday, if you'd like to make a real change, do something that we like to think is very, very easy – shop with us! The money we raise will go directly to Clothes For Causes, helping to make a change to the lives of vulnerable people across the city we're proud to call home. Even a small purchase makes a big difference, to us and to them – an independent business and an independent charity are two of the most worthwhile places to put your cash this Christmas.
See you tomorrow. #localisthenewblack
Team MB x