Merchants of the Sun are planet, people, progress.
We are not environmental radicals or global climate leaders; we wish we were, but we still run a business, an alternative business of collective change makers reimagining relationships with the fashion world by breaking tradition, not the planet.
Purpose over profit, make few, design well - always.
We are rejecting Black Friday, and we think you should join us.
The perils of Black Friday begin with consumerism, the idea that the more material things we have, the better off we are.
Attempts to promote new products and rid last season rejects harnessed the propulsive power of envy and a fear of missing out, boosting sales and the trajectory of overconsumption and mass-production, a costly way to live and a costly way to think.
The grim reality of the fashion industry revolves around the harm caused to our most precious asset – our planet.
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year worldwide; enormous discounts, a sea of plastic waste scattered amongst overblown campaigns to encourage you to buy, buy, buy, without regard for broader environmental concerns.
So, this Black Friday, we are shutting up shop - the windows of our Gold Coast showroom will be blacked out, our online store closed.
At Merchants of the Sun, we envision a zero-waste world; this involves small-batch, handcrafted collections, paper packaging, decreasing the amount of waste we produce during manufacturing and on campaign photoshoots while using ethically sourced recycled materials where we can. We are pretty proud of how far we have come in just under two years, but perhaps what we're proudest of is our dedication to environmental education, advocacy and awareness for our community.
Before we create anything, we consider its impact, and then we encourage our community to think the same when purchasing - how will your purchase today affect tomorrow?
Excessive attachment to possessions is a detachment from the world around us; what we buy should complement what we do, and spending our time is more lasting than spending our money.
By refusing sales, we are protesting the industry's encouragement of overconsumption throughout this time. Instead, you might see our Anti-Black Friday campaign, featuring signs around bustling locations in Australia reading thought-provoking statements - replacing retail with valuable discussion.
This is our plea to you - to THINK about the impact of your purchase tomorrow and beyond.
Come Cyber Monday, we will be donating 50% of profits to ActionAid Australia to support #shewearsthecost. ActionAid's She Wears The Cost campaign demands that brands step up and uphold the women's rights who make their clothes. Currently, there are 35 million women garment workers worldwide that are underpaid and working in poor conditions.
We couldn't think of a more accurate charity to donate to for our Anti Black Friday Campaign.
So when pulling out your wallet this sale period, commit only to what is necessary. Gift and buy with meaning, opting for fashion that transcends trend cycles and presents as little impact on your surroundings as possible.
Shopping meaningfully is one of the most vital steps we can all take towards reducing excessive consumption and waste. This entails only buying what we need and what we will cherish years into the future. The art of fashion and jewellery means that nothing should be designed to be worn a few times and then discarded. Instead, we create jewellery to stand the test of time and carry you through the ages.
It's these ideas that underpin Merchants of the Sun as a brand that celebrates life in all its forms.
Reducing our harm to our environment is more important than the cheap thrills of overconsumption.
We are breaking tradition, not the planet.
We are preserving the message of our brand and the environment and Indigenous land within which we create.
We invite you to join us on a journey to fashioning a zero-waste world.
The Hereafter Is Not Known.
All we have is today.
Want to get involved and join the movement?
Tomorrow afternoon we will be releasing a list of locations - share a picture of one of our billboard's, find a Merchant's sign holder in your local CBD area, or download these assets and stand with us!
Use the hashtag #merchantsofthesun #blackfridayforchange #breaktraditionnottheplanet
Let's make this change together!
With Love, Banksy