Winnipeg boutique offers sustainable alternative to Black Friday

For Andréanne Dandeneau, the words “Black Friday” bring up a feeling of chaos.

“Frenzy, crazy,” she said. “Just last-minute buying.”

It’s something she’s steering her customers away from this holiday season. She’s not offering door-crashing deals at her shop Anne Mulaire Boutique, where she sells her sustainable clothing brand of the same name.

Instead, she’s encouraging her clients to care for their new garments by offering free lifetime repairs on clothes bought from Nov. 25-30.

Read more: Shopping local versus big box on Black Friday in Winnipeg

“We thought, ‘What else could we offer… and we offer repairs,” Dandeneau said.

Dandeneau started Anne Mulaire 17 years ago, working out of her parents’ basement before moving to the Mulvey Avenue warehouse where her factory and shop are now.

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The Anishinaabe/French Métis designer uses primarily bamboo fabrics in her collections. Fabric scraps are saved and worked into the brand’s patchwork “Zero Waste” line.

“When I started my clothing line, it was very engraved in me that I was going to produce something on this planet that would eventually be waste,” she said. “So, how am I going to be responsible for this waste?”

As well as helping her customers get more use from her products, Dandeneau hopes to be an example for responsible consumerism.

“Black Friday was going against my values, because it’s like consumption, buy fast, go, big sales!” she said.

The push to consume during the holidays is almost unavoidable, says Green Action Centre Living Green Living Well coordinator Colleen Ans.

“It’s hard to get away from, because you’re constantly being told about these Black Friday deals and how much you can save,” she said.

“I really look at it and I’m like, ‘Do I really need that, though?’”

Read more: Winnipeg thrift stores say business is booming due to rising inflation

Ans considers the resources that go into creating and delivering products for Black Friday sales, and the rest of the year.

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“This is creating a lot of carbon emissions through transportation, a lot of packaging waste, and just waste in the gifts that these items are replacing,” she said.

The Green Action Centre promotes Black Friday as Buy Nothing Day – an international movement against consumerism.

Ans encourages buying second-hand items, consumables, or experiences to cut down on waste when choosing gifts, and spending on locally-owned businesses.

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