Unpacking Green Friday - The Maker Community & Sustainable Businesses

Unpacking Green Friday - The Maker Community & Sustainable Businesses

Enter Green Friday, also known as the “Anti-Black Friday Movement”, it was first started to raise awareness about the detrimental impact our society’s shopping habits have on the environment. It is uncertain who or which group first kick started the Green Friday movement, but according to Cultura Collective and Bustle, the event “was born in Canada in 1992, and it was called “Buy Nothing Day”. 

Green Friday emboldens consumers to not shop at all on Black Friday, or to consider their needs and choose sustainable brands if they do need to purchase something that they will use. While also highlighting that the negative impacts of Black Friday, vastly outweigh the financial incentives offered, and the short lived joy of buying something.  

Over the nearly 30 years since its inception, Green Friday has evolved alongside social movements to promote sustainability in design, production, and manufacturing, and the rise of small companies that champion up-cycled goods and reclaimed or dead stock items. 

Local examples in Vancouver in the clothing and textile industries can be seen in the popularity of vintage boutiques like Hey Jude, Community Thrift and Vintage Shoppe, and F As In Frank, emerging independent brands such as Fortiv, Bellantoni Designs, HiJulez, and Adeera, thought leaders like Textile Lab for Circularity, and sustainable material suppliers such as Kendor Textiles, Blackbird Fabrics, and FABCYCLE.

Additionally, this growing community of small sustainable businesses has created reciprocal benefits: more business popping up with the mission to facilitate resale of up-cycled and dead stock materials, to use recycled packaging, and to reject mass production for limited runs of goods made ethically and renewably, fosters the Circular Economy. 

The key component to completing this Circular Economy is the amazing community of home sewists and makers, who buy the dead stock and recycled fabrics from re-use centres, and then turn these materials into something new and beautiful that they use in their daily lives. 

The FABCYCLE Fabric Journey - Circular Economy

Illustrating the journey a piece of FABCYCLE fabric takes, from the point of being discarded to being reused in something new, is a great way to fully visualize how we’re positively impacting the circular textile economy! Follow along with our fabric as it makes its way to become something new:

  • A clothing manufacturer has finished a production run, and realizes that they have an extra half a roll left over. They store it for 3 years until they decide it’s time to clean up, and that roll needs to be gotten rid of. The easiest thing for the manufacturer to do is to dump it.
  • FABCYCLE swoops in to rescue the fabric roll just in time, and we bring it back to the safety of our studio!
  • Our FAB team reviews the new fabric roll for its material content and feel, gives it a snazzy new name “Harry Houndstooth”, and makes it feel right at home with its own product tag, and glamour product shots on our website!
  • This introduces our new fabric roll to one of our followers, a local sewist “Molly Maker”, who has been on the lookout for just this type of textile!
  • Molly Maker visits the FABCYCLE website, and decides that Harry Houndstooth is going to be perfect for her current project of a new winter coat! So she goes ahead and places an online order for the amount of fabric she needs, and arranges to pick up herself as she lives in Vancouver.
  • Our team is thrilled that after such a short time in our family, Harry Houndstooth has already booked his first gig!

We at FABCYCLE are grateful to be part of such a vibrant and healthy community of like minded companies and engaged talented makers who are dedicated to being socially and environmentally conscious. Through our collective business practices, buying practices, and interactions with the public and consumers, we have created a community that is  living the Green Friday ethos every day of the year, and through the subsequent ripple effect, hopefully encouraging others to continue making a positive impact in their own communities.


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