At Comme Avant, we sometimes want to question the rules pre-established by industrials by not following their lead. We often claim that we go against the flow and fight against overconsumption. Our aim is to allow people to “consume less and better”, leading to a fair consumption according to actual needs.
Whilst we thought we were rather clear on our philosophy and values, we regularly receive requests regarding promotional offers and, more specifically, if we are to going offer discounts on our products.
To answer this question here and now, the answer is NO, we don’t take part in the sales. However, we wanted to explain more precisely why we decided to never put our products on sale.
Sales and consequences
The initial aim of the sales is to destock and avoid wasting products when changing season or a product range for example. But today, when we think of the sales, we think of overconsumption and scenes of crowds running into shops showing off discounted prices pop into our minds. This hysteria happens twice a year in France (summer and winter sales), and with that comes along other commercial events such as the well-known Black Friday. These events create such a buzz that we could nearly compare them to price wars.
Low prices, that push us to compulsive shopping, have consequences on our purse (we always go over budget!) but also on the environment. We now know the environmental impacts of fast-fashion and the many clothing collections made each year. We can also question if products are made specifically to answer the high demand during these discount periods. We buy high-tech items, clothes and, in the end, we don’t really like them or need them. They will end up forgotten in the back of our wardrobe or even thrown away a couple of months later. We simply buy an item because it was a good deal.
The truth is, we are so attracted by discounts that we sometimes buy products at such low costs, without even noticing that it is to the detriment of quality, raw materials used, and labour. All this raises the question: if it is possible to offer a product at -70%, is the initial price actually a fair one?
This is what we advocate at Comme Avant, by refusing to put our products on sale. It occasionally happens that we offer discount codes for particular events, but never more than 10%. Obviously, we can’t offer any discounts ranging from -50% to -70% as our prices are fair all year round. We also don’t want to encourage to consume more, we rather advocate for everyone to “consume less and better”.
A fair price all year round
You have now understood that we don’t do any discounts, however we guarantee you we do our best to offer our products at the fairest price all the time. Some find that our products aren’t affordable and that sales would be an opportunity for them to try them out. But if we want to offer quality products, this comes at a price. All the manufacturing steps that happen before you receive one of our products need to be taken into account:
- The raw materials we use for our products – cosmetics or textile – are organic and most of the time more expensive than those from conventional farming.
- All our products are also handmade in our workshop by our team, who earn a fair wage. Making everything in France has necessarily a higher production cost compared to outsourced manufacturing for example.
- Our products are cost-efficient and last a long time, their prices are therefore not the best indicator for this type of product.
All these elements prevent us from offering the same prices as industrial brands. But when thinking about it, the problem doesn’t come from our prices, but rather from the points of comparison used by some consumers.
Going against promotional offers
As consumers, it is important to relearn the notion of value in the products we use. We need to understand that impulsive and excessive buying comes from a purchase-mechanism caused by low prices and the feeling of a “good deal”. If you are tempted by a product in the sales (or rather its price), ask yourself a couple of questions: “Do I really need this?” “Is this a quality product that is going to last in time?”
Today, just like us, many brands are boycotting the sales to create a new reality on healthier and more ethical foundations. This movement started appearing during the Black Friday period: you now see more and more companies taking part in Green Friday. However, beware of greenwashing! The fact of not participating in Black Friday becomes for some a selling and advertising argument.
All in all, the sales per se aren’t the problem, it is rather the overconsumption they entail which is worrying. We mustn’t forget that the consumer is king, not the companies. The responsibility therefore partially relies on buyers, who can break the chains of this race towards the best price.
To do so, we need to change our relationship with consumption as well as with the products we use by evaluating, amongst other aspects, our needs as well as a product’s quality and sustainability.
We hope this article has helped you and that you now understand why we don’t want to be part of this price war. 🙂