How a school in India inspired our Black Friday

How a school in India inspired our Black Friday

It goes without saying India is a big part of our lives now. Our story of Lucy & Yak started there when we first met Ismail there in 2017 and now when we get to visit Ismail's team and our other partners in this incredible country, we come back 100% inspired.

This is the story of how one of our work trips last year encouraged us to do more than just standard sales on Black Friday and contribute to the amazing charity Fior Di Loto.

Fior Di Loto

When we first found out about the grassroots charity Fior Di Loto founded by Deepu and Mara and the school that they run in Pushkar we knew we wanted to contribute to the success of their story.

For £220, Fior Di Loto can educate one girl for a year, buy her uniform, shoes, and books and also provide her lunch and transport. That's not a lot of money to transform one person's life! And that's no understatement.

Research has shown that receiving an education not only changes that person's life but transforms communities. It also provides opportunities for the next generation, changing many lives to come. Many of the teachers were themselves students at the school and understand the struggles and challenges the students face.

We are so excited about the work they are doing at the school, no surprise we wanted to share what they do with you guys and contribute something to this amazing cause.

So we owe you one. One BIG THANK YOU!

We've been looking back at our Black Friday weekend last year when we pledged to contribute 10% of the sales to Fior Di Loto charity. Thanks to you guys forfeiting the usual Black Friday discount, and instead choosing to contribute to this amazing school, together we ended up raising enough funds to send 36 girls in India to school. That really deserves a big shout out.

It's hard to find the words to describe just what this means to us. We are just so grateful to you for supporting our Black Friday venture and making a positive difference in the lives of so many. That's the Lucy and Yak dream; to do good and to show there's a different way to go. Thank you so much.

So in case you missed it...

...this is how the Black Friday weekend went at Lucy and Yak

Over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, 10% of all sales (excluding VAT and returns) were donated to helping deprived girls in India get a good education. Education is the key to change; it's the best way to reduce poverty and to provide all sorts of life opportunities It's easy to take education for granted but I'll always be inspired by Malala Yousafrazai's story and we wanted to do something positive in response to her story and others like it.

So how did it go?

When we first announced our plan we were blown away by the response. It was so great to find that so many of you feel like we do. @charlieasnow summed it up beautifully, “I hate Black Friday! But I love this. So bought some sweet-ass jeans. Good move”.

@sinaladina had a good point too; “I understand that Black Friday is an opportunity for many to buy things they need at a lesser price but only the biggest brands and companies profit. I love that now I can do something good for others too by buying something for me – self-care is important too!”

It was so exciting; by the end of the first day, Friday 23rd November, there were enough purchases to sponsor 10 girls! We never expected anything like this! And it was just the beginning.

@honestlyjessa_ said “This is so magical and beautiful and you should be so proud”; well, we felt that you guys should be proud too. It means so much to us that you embrace our vision of an ethical, sustainable business that tries to look out for people rather than exploiting them.

By the Saturday the number had doubled! 20 girls going to school! I bet you can imagine us sitting at the computer watching the numbers go up. As @kerensza said, “That's like a whole class!”. I remember how fun it was at school to have my gang of girls; learning together is so positive and you learn so much more than facts!

And still it didn't stop. By Sunday we'd hit 30, and by the end of the day, another 6 girls could go to school. 36 girls able to get a great education and to enjoy and make the most of all the opportunities which come with that. It was also really exciting to read what @sabiahlove had to say: “I suggested a similar thing for the place I work next year and they are up for it!”. Wouldn't it be amazing to turn Black Friday into an opportunity like this, rather than just a day all about consumerism?

What we're really trying to say

So why the update now? Well, what we really wanted to say was a giant and enormous thank you to you all. You did this; you sent 36 girls to school and that is really, really great! The school sends us regular updates with how the girls are doing, with their grades, and we will be paying a visit next time we are in India.

I'll let Lucy have the last word on this:

“We want to say a huge thank you to every single one of our customers who bought anything on these days – we wouldn't have been able to do it without out. 36 was way beyond what we expected, to be working with a charity so wonderful, in a region of India that is so close to our hearts. It was nice to have the opportunity to take a day that usually feels heartless and use it to make positive change"

“We are so grateful to have a loyal and loving customer base who were happy to sacrifice a sale saving and instead make a difference to someone's life”

PS It's not too late to get involved. You can still donate directly here.

And don't miss our next Black Friday campaign and all the other fab stuff that's going on at Lucy and Yak. Follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter here.

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