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by Paulina Gugala November 25, 2022
Toronto, CA: As a community-focused business, at Scout, we prioritize showing up on days like Black Friday in a way that aligns with our brand values of community care, intentional living, and eco-conscious practices. That’s why this year from November 25 to November 27, we will be collecting donations for the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER). Donations aren’t required and we will give our community the power to choose a donation amount that feels right to them. We will also make a contribution to the donations and cover all transaction and processing fees so that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the organization.
We’re endlessly grateful to have a supportive community that sustains us and allows us the ability to support important initiatives that benefit the collective at large. Days like Black Friday traditionally don’t have small businesses’ best intentions in mind as they encourage steep discounts that cut into already slim margins and also encourage impulse shopping, something that directly conflicts with our values of slow and intentional purchases. This year, we’re hoping to evolve our approach by putting the power in our community’s hands to choose a donation that feels good to them while also positively impacting their local economy.
“Black Friday isn’t going anywhere, and every year we try to think of ways we can participate in a way that feels more meaningful for us,” says Leah Eyles, Owner & Founder of Scout. “Though we understand the excitement of a good deal, we also see how much Black Friday promotes overconsumption, fast fashion, excess waste, and the list goes on. We want to encourage a new way of thinking around this annual day of deals, deals, deals! To counteract the environmental impact of days like Black Friday, we have chosen to ditch the discounts and instead collect donations for an organization that takes action to solve environmental issues. This feels more in line with what is important to us and as a small business, we trust our communities will understand why we are straying from the usual expectations around Black Friday.”
The sobering reality we face when it comes to consumer culture and the impact of online shopping is undeniable. According to Frontier Group, more than 5 billion pounds of waste is generated every year in the US from returned products. This consists of both the return packaging, and also in many cases, the products themselves. Between 30% and 40% of clothing sales are returned, but only 10% of all returns are restocked on shelves to be resold. The rest may be shipped off to the landfill or the incinerator. This is an alarming number that demands reflection and consideration.
In their own words, “CIER supports Indigenous people and communities to be leaders of positive environmental change. We are Canada’s first Indigenous-directed environmental non-profit charitable organization and were founded in 1995 by 10 First Nation Chiefs from across Canada. We assist Indigenous communities in taking action to solve the environmental problems affecting their lands and waters by connecting them with the resources they need to achieve their goals.”
Sales-driven events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday directly clash with our values here at Scout. Instead, this year we will focus on promoting slow intentional shopping while supporting an important cause that will benefit all of us. We hope that by offering financial support to an environmental organization like CIER, we can work together to build a greener future that we’ll all be able to enjoy for years to come.
Scout is an independent gift shop in Toronto with a focus on handmade goods from Canadian and independent makers. They pride themselves in curating thoughtful goods that they stand behind and feel will offer something special to the homes and lifestyles of their clients, as well as their loved ones. To their biggest fans, they’re also known as the store with something for everyone, and the best card selection in the city!
Scout opened its doors in September of 2011 in beautiful Roncesvalles Village and opened its second location in Leslieville in November 2018. Scout prioritizes their supportive communities and their relationships with neighbours and customers alike. They’re so grateful to have had such amazing support throughout the years which has allowed them to flourish within the community.
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405 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto ON M6R 2N1
416 546 6922
1140 Queen St E
Toronto ON M4M 1L1
647 748 1140