It’s that time of year where you begin to see Black Friday sales everywhere. It can be hard to avoid whether you’re on social media, checking emails or walking past the shops. Last year Black Friday sales saw a huge $8.9 billion dollars spent in the US alone. In Australia, 1 in 2 people have said they are likely to purchase this Black Friday. So how can we buy better to help people and planet? We've created a list of five actions you can take to turn your Black Friday to a Green Friday.
1. Don’t buy on impulse
Research shows 42% of people regret their Black Friday sales. Buying on impulse is a major factor in this buyers regret. Instead of reactive and impulse buying, go into the sales period with a clear mindset of what you need. Write out a list with specifics and if the items you find don’t meet your requirements, don’t buy. There are always going to be more sales and you are even better off paying full price for something you will be happy with and not regret than settling because it was on sale. One aim when shopping should be not to throw away your purchase so really consider if you need this long term and what the end of life for this item would look like (is it of good quality? Is it recyclable? Can it be repurposed?).
2. Buy from ethical and sustainable brands
Do your research. The business world is full of greenwashing at the moment. You need to be sure you are purchasing from ethical and sustainable businesses that care for people and planet. A great indicator of this is checking their website for a page on their impact or ethics and sustainability. They should list how and where their products are made, the working conditions, if they give back to people or planet in some way, are their shipping practices plastic free and carbon neutral? To be a conscious consumer can feel difficult and time consuming in today’s fast paced lifestyle. However, to make real change and tell brands and businesses that things need to be done differently we need to take the time to research so we can put our money into businesses that reflect our values. When shopping for apparel you can use initiatives such as Good on You which do the hard work for you and provide a ranking for businesses. You can see our ethical and sustainable clothing range here where you can find something for the whole family.
3. Don’t follow trends
Trends are the nightmare of sustainability. Trends add to the current problem of a throwaway culture. Every year on average each Australian purchases around 27 kilograms of new clothing and dispose around 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill. An average T-shirt weights about 150 grams. To put this in perspective, each Australian’s textile waste would look like approximately 153 shirts being thrown away, every year. This impacts the planet but also your pocket. If the average shirt was $20, this would be over $3,000 wasted! (That’s enough to set you up with a good quality ethical wardrobe). Trends can have a lot to blame for disposing of clothing. How to combat this? Find your style, don’t shop on impulse, shop second hand, look for ethical and sustainable brands, buy quality over quantity and it will save you in the long run.
As consumers become more aware of the impact their buying behaviours can have they need to demand more from businesses. You can either boycott the Black Friday sales all together, or boycott brands that are still conducting business in a harmful way to people and planet.
5. Consume less, do more
Instead of buying more material possessions (didn’t we all just rid ourselves Marie Kondo style recently?), opt for experiences. Experiences create memories that will often last longer than the feeling of opening a new toy or unwrapping another pair of socks. Plus, they can be way more fun! Why not book a family holiday, gift a gin making or wine tasting experience, get the kids tickets to a local rescue farm or fruit picking. There are loads of cool, fun or relaxing adventures to be had!
These are just some examples of how you can green things up this black Friday. I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions. Drop a comment below or on Instagram.
Let’s be the CHANGE!