Anyone hoping for sharp Black Friday offers at the Dille & Kamille cookshops in Breda, Tilburg, Den Bosch or Eindhoven was disappointed. The shops were closed and the windows were taped shut with brown wrapping paper. All employees worked up a sweat on the heath of De Groote Peel this Friday. No Black Friday for them, but Green Friday.

    With saws and secateurs, about twenty women went into De Groote Peel to help forest ranger Dennis Bennenbroek with the maintenance of the nature reserve.

    The employees who are in the shops every day have left their representative clothes at home for this occasion. With their sturdy shoes and boots they stand in the marshy Peel. “I don’t have to go to the gym today and I’m afraid I’ll have muscle pain tomorrow,” says one of them after she has just cut down a birch tree.

    “I’m not used to a lot of young women coming here to help”

    The promotion is in response to the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Many shops are drawing attention to their mega offers this Friday, but Dille & Kamille is drawing attention to nature. Customers are asked not to shop on this Friday, but to go out into nature.

    “The ideals of the company do not fit Black Friday. We do not like high discounts, but prefer to give something back to nature,” says Dorien Goijaerts-Eijsten of the store in Eindhoven. “By closing the shops for one day, you send a signal and I hope more companies follow us. It is also very nice to be busy in nature.”

    “This makes you more tired than standing in the store”

    Forest ranger Dennis thinks the help is wonderful. “I’m not used to a lot of young women coming here to help,” he says with a laugh. “De Peel should be an open area. The young birches, if they are sawn down or cut away, would otherwise completely overgrow the heath. They are doing great,” says Dennis.

    “This is heavier than standing in the store”, one of the employees sighs. Dorien’s colleagues are meanwhile struggling between the bushes. “It’s nice work, to escape the city and the crowds for a while. Otherwise we would have been packing presents today, but this is wonderful in the sun on the moor.” Dorien does not know whether dill or chamomile can be found on the heath.

    Employees of Dille and Kamille work up a sweat on the Groote Peel (photo: Jan Peels)
    Employees of Dille and Kamille work up a sweat on the Groote Peel (photo: Jan Peels)

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