Black Friday - The Goose Studios Way

Rich smith, the co-founder of Goose Studios

Ahhhh Black Friday. The beefier, angrier American cousin of  the Boxing Day sales. Coupled with Cyber Monday, that sounds like some  existential security threat facing the country; this coming weekend would  normally represent an orgy of sales, consumerism and grossness.


From iPhones to  smart speakers, wax crayons to pants, it would be no surprise if almost every facet of your life could be bought at a reduced price because why the hellnot...


But surely this is hugely problematic? In short, yes. With  an estimated £6billion being spent this year across the weekend, with the  average Brit planning to spend a staggering £295.67 this weekend according to  this article on finder.com  if they were to buy anything over the Black Friday weekend.


That’s a lot of  stuff.


That’s a lot of stuff being made, being shipped around the world, aroundthe  country and ultimately a lot of stuff that’s being chucked away. Whether  that’s old stuff, new stuff well within its life span or just all the  packaging. Black Friday is just creating a hell of a lot of stuff.


Now we are well aware that partaking in any Black Friday  event - even by name, could be hypocritical or just feeding the issue of  over-consumerism but here at Goose Studios, Sam and I have been desperately  thinking of a way that we can reimagine Black Friday to actually generate a bit  of good for society.


To break this mythical spell that Black Friday holds on  the world of retail.



Rich smith, the co-founder of Goose Studios

Black Friday: Goose Studios x CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably)


We’ve always wanted to make it abundantly clear; Goose Studios is here in those moments when you need some new tees or a new sweatshirt. We advertise to make ourselves known, to be visible and to provide 100% organic cotton products at an affordable price, so when your Urban Outfitters or H&M tee gives way, you’ve got an alternative... us.


That’s the nature of fashion retail and in an ideal world, everyone will be wearing organic t-shirts that are long lasting, hardy things and when they finally fall apart, we buy what we want, when we need it.


Equally, people like new clothes and that’s also alright because that’s just how we’ve been brought up in this consumerist world but again, it’s important for us to be here, to ensure as many as those purchases after a crappy week or for a holiday are from sustainable retailers like ourselves.


So, how can you reimagine Black Friday?

In fact, it’s fairly simple once you’ve thought of it! Reject the idea of sales or discounts, stick two fingers up at the 40% off and instead, sell everything at full price. Yep, that’s the idea... Just keep on truckin’ at full whack.

But what you do in addition, is you make a commitment that for every sale made over the Black Friday weekend; you donate a percentage of your profits to a good cause.


You don’t knock 20% off your sweatshirts, you take that 20% and you donate it somewhere great, whether that be an environmental cause, a community project or another cause entirely, just somewhere doing good things for good people.


Black Friday all of a sudden becomes a weekend of charity, of enabling, of wealth redistribution and goodwill. It becomes something more than a weekend of gross consumerist madness; it becomes an opportunity to better someone’s life, whether directly or indirectly. 

And this is exactly what we are going to do at Goose Studios.


We are going to donate 20% of all sales from the start of Black Friday to the close of Cyber Monday (Friday 27th November to Monday 30th November) to CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably) to aid the continued fight against the stigma surrounding Male Mental Health in the UK.



Why CALM?


Sam and I spoke about this at length. An obvious move  wouldhave been to support one of the many fantastic environmental causes you have around  the UK.


Yet as two males in their mid-to-late twenties who have experienced to  varying degrees difficulties surrounding their mental health, CALM seemed a  fantastic cause to rally behind and one that we could see a little bit  ofourselves in the demographic it most wants to support.


Knowing where to start with male mental health is a hardtask. Given the stigma surrounding discussion of mental health, out-dated ideas  of ‘masculinity’, societal pressures of being the ‘provider’ in a traditional  family unit or just a simple lack of education about understanding your own  emotions, male mental health continues to go undiagnosed, unrecognised by  individuals and their peers and still unfortunately lead to many taking their  own life.


The facts are stark. Three times as many men as women die bysuicide. Only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are male. Men are three  times more likely to become dependent to alcohol and three times more likely to  report frequent drug use. Perhaps the most harrowing of statistics is that  suicide is the highest killer in the UK of men under the age of 50. That’s  deeply troubling.


Neither Sam nor I have to that point nor have we spoken to CALM  seeking any help because we’ve been at such a low ebb. I don’t want to speak  for Sam any more than I have too in this piece so I will now only talk about  myown experience of my mental health.


Mental health is a weird one. A really weird one. I  openedup to some extent earlier this year on our social media channels with this  post for mental health awareness week and not one to talk quite so openly, it was  truly touching seeing people’s comments and messages come through.


Now, don’t  get me wrong, this isn’t me going for Round 2! This little blog post stems from  a clear need for males in their twenties to be able to talk... to anyone. I  didn’t for most of my twenties and only when I did speak to friends, family and  a professional that I realised the burden I had been carrying for years.


Over the course of the last decade or so, I’ve spoken to  doctors about my insomnia. I’ve had a mental health assessment (which is weird  and they ask what are at the time scary questions). I’ve struggled severely  with anxiety, mild OCD, been diagnosed with PTSD for latent trauma and grief,  been referred to a counsellor through work due to work related stress and  consequently spent most of a two year period in therapy to not only deal with  work based stresses but all of the list above.


This isn’t exhaustive nor am I trying to make it seem like a  drop in the ocean, treating it with little time or care, for the purpose of  this (I have taken up a whole lot of ya time!), being somewhat brief seems  almost more accessible.


I was hugely luckily that in my Mum, she offered to  financially support me going to see a counsellor for neigh on two years at a  huge cost to her. To have such support is just not an option for to many peoplebut  it is in those moments that organisation like CALM are beyond important.


I’ve been able to talk to friends and family. I have areally supportive girlfriend who has been a star and still I have moments,  days, weeks where everything feels utterly shit, where I become emotionally  detached to all that surrounds me and when looking at a WhatsApp message is one  of the most anxiety inducing things to do on any given day. It’s a constant  journey but to try and face this journey without support, fuck that. And in  realising that, I am one of the fortunate ones.

 

So here it is, the Goose Studios way of doing Black Friday.You won’t be getting discounts here or mega sales. What you will get though is  the satisfaction that your 100% organic cotton t-shirt or sweatshirt isn’t only  better for the planet but you are also supporting an incredible organisation in CALM.


Youaren’t  only doing your part to protect the planet but you potentially might be  protecting someone’s life.


That’s what a promotional event should look like....


Goose Studios BlackFriday offer will run from 00.01 on Friday 27th November to 23.59 on Monday  30th November. We will donate 20% of all sales, whether that’s guys or gals,  tees or sweats, whatever we sell, we donate to CALM.


Thanks for readingthis  far. The Goose Studios community is fantastic and your continued support  means the world to us, so let’s hope we can raise a good wedge of money and  give a little back to a brilliant organisation after a pretty horrendous year.

 

Rich x

To check out CALM, head to thecalmzone.net