Jewellery brand Lebrusan Studio has spoken to Professional Jeweller about the outcome of its Black Friday sales boycott.

The Hatton Garden-based brand has participated in the discounts in previous years but decided to sit out this year’s sales, making a statement about “shopping local and small”, and also donating to charity The Water Project too.

It cited the pressure placed, especially on small, independent businesses, to add heavy discounts for the November weekend, and said that this can be easier for large, “fast-fashion” companies, especially in a year like 2020.

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Arabel Lebrusan, founder of Lebrusan Studio, told PJ: “Black Friday is largely characterised by competitiveness; brands vying for the attention of the busy Christmas shopper.

“This year, small businesses like ours stood very little chance against the corporate giants that have weathered the storm and can continue to flaunt ostentatious discounts – an extreme example of which is the 99% markdown offered by a well-known fast fashion brand.”

If our message encouraged just one person to shop small and local this Christmas, we have succeeded in our mission.”

She continued: “We’ve participated in Black Friday sales in previous years and found it to be a great opportunity to boost our profile as an up-and-coming brand.

“This year, however, we felt it more appropriate to use our platform to encourage a considered approach to Christmas shopping.

“In our mind’s eye, we envisage a world where wealth is distributed evenly, and people can enjoy beautiful things without the need for exploitation – simply by shopping local and small. We saw this Black Friday as the perfect opportunity to articulate that.”

Turning to the brand’s sales performance over the weekend, Lebrusan said: “We create jewellery for people who are passionate about environmental, social and economic sustainability, so we felt confident that our stance against Black Friday would be well received.

“Whilst we didn’t sell as many pieces this Black Friday weekend as we have done in previous years, we’re pleased to have received orders placed with careful consideration, by Christmas shoppers drawn by a cause rather than a discount.

“We were very lucky to have our campaign spoken of highly by publications and individuals alike.

“If our message encouraged just one person to shop small and local this Christmas, we have succeeded in our mission.

“And the bonus? We’re donating even more to The Water Project this year than we usually would!”

The Water Project gives people access to clean water in places like Sierra Leone. The founder explained: “Even today, over 18 years after withdrawal, millions of men, women and children continue to suffer needlessly, walking miles for dirty water that makes them sick. We know it doesn’t need to be this way.”

Read more about Lebrusan Studio’s Black Friday boycott below:

Jewellery brand in Black Friday sales boycott as it refuses to give into discount pressure