Black Friday


In my family, autumn is such a special time of year. The air is brisker and the trees are on fire with foliage of bright reds and yellows. Every company offers a delicious pumpkin flavored variation of literally every product and people are excited for what is definitely my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Those that know me well know that I love time with loved ones, preparing my famous maple glazed turkey and gorging myself on stuffing and mashed potatoes. However, my affinity for Thanksgiving extends far beyond our annual trip home and my inevitable lengthy food coma (which I only begin to emerge from around Cyber Monday.) I love that Thanksgiving encourages us to do something extremely simple and obvious. Give thanks! Yes, it is a shame that we need an explicitly named holiday to remind us that we don’t do it enough, but I contend that Thanksgiving exists as one of the only remaining holidays that has preserved its true meaning. The meaning of the holiday itself has yet to be completely perverted by senseless consumerism. That’s not to say Thanksgiving is completely safe. Instead of exploiting the holiday itself, some insist on encroaching upon its turf.

Every fourth Thursday of November, we are allowed to sleep in late, watch some of the parade and enjoy a big home cooked breakfast to precede our big home cooked dinner.  Throw in some football and a few conversations with relatives you see only a handful of times each year and you have accurately outlined the Thanksgiving agenda for most Americans. However, instead of recovering from our feast and spending quality time with our families, we are encouraged to get in line outside the mall before dessert is even served. Seriously, Target is opening its doors at 6pm on Thursday evening! Each year I ask myself who would be crazy enough to participate in the increasing Black Friday chaos and each year I am shocked to see pictures and videos of hundreds of people storming popular stores in search of an extra 5% off. Craziness!

And let’s not pretend that the money we save on Black Friday doesn’t come at an expense. You don’t need me to tell you that your time is valuable. Many of us are granted a four-day weekend to relax and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday (unless you work in retail, of course.) We’d normally revel in every minute of a four-day escape from reality, deliberately trying to avoid heavily trafficked roads and overly crowded shopping malls. However, every Black Friday we excuse ourselves and willingly sacrifice a quarter of our vacation to run glorified errands.

So let’s recap… We spend 75% of Thanksgiving Day claiming to be grateful for the blessings we’ve been granted and are expected to spend the remaining 25% of this holiday ravenously (and sometimes violently) competing against one another for the best deals on things that can accurately be described as excess. Nice. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Is it really worth it?

For some maybe, but here at Knots we’d like to propose an alternative. We’ve been re-defining personal branding and style for six months now, making a notable charitable impact with every tie we’ve sold. As a socially conscious company, we also want to re-define Black Friday and better align it with our corporate values and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Our message to our customers, fans, friends and family members is that we are truly grateful for everything we’ve been blessed with over the past year. We’d love an opportunity to express our thanks. If you’ve purchased a tie, thank you! If you’ve “liked” a post, thank you! If you’ve told our story, learned about our charitable partners or viewed our website, thank you! However, we are also challenging ourselves to represent this overwhelming sense of gratitude in our already unconventional cost model. Typically, we donate 50% of our profits from each sale to our charitable partners, Water for Waslala and The Joseph Fund, but on Black Friday, we are going to double our charitable contributions from every tie sold. We hold the American consumer to a higher standard, and our values mean far more to us than our bottom lines. If you appreciate this sentiment as well as what we are doing, we simply ask that you tweet, post or share this blog post with your friends, using the hashtag #truethanks.

We believe that a necktie from Knots represents the ideal Christmas gift because of its charitable nature. What better time to support our mission than Black Friday, when the social impact of our products is even greater! The Knots brand is stronger than ever, but we would be nothing without the support of everyone who has joined us on this journey so far.  Please remember to be sincere in your gratitude this Thanksgiving. If your sense of gratitude is particularly overwhelming, or if your just frustrated by the insane number of Black Friday commercials on television, please support our charitable partners this Friday by purchasing a tie from Knots Apparel. Remember, even just sharing this blog post with the the hashtage #truethanks can make a difference.

Thanks again!

PJ McAwardComment