Coming off the heels of the COP26, more than ever the average consumer is becoming aware of their sustainability habits or lack there of. Over the last decade, the appeal of Black Friday and its over-consumption driver has been waning. This combo is making us rethink if and how we spend our money on the day after Thanksgiving and many brands are following suit.
REI spearheaded this shift in consumerism with #OptOutside in 2015. REI closes its retail stores on Black Friday and encourages consumers to get outside in nature. On Black Friday in 2020, Patagonia ran a full page ad in the New York Times that read “Don’t Buy This Jacket” and talked about their mission as a company to address consumerism head on. London-based clothing brand Birdsong has launched their own Black Friday campaign - Transparent Friday. Birdsongs Transparent Friday Manifesto lists out the true costs of fashion and how they’re paying workers fairly.
So what can we do if we still want to snag some deals on the biggest shopping day of the year? Buy from trusted brands that are known for sustainability: Patagonia, REI, Burt’s Bees, Allbirds, Lush, Avocado Mattress, to name a few. Shop local and support local goods and services. Purchase items with longevity (ya know, the reuse in the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse and recycle). Want to forgo shopping all together? Take part in Green Friday instead. Green Friday challenges all of us to not just run out and buy the best deals because they’re deals, but to be conscious in our consumption and to shop sustainable brands or to not shop at all. And for more eco conscious days of the week, check out BuyNOWTFriday, Small Business Saturday, Circular Monday, FreshAirFriday, and Giving Thursday.