How to Have a Green, Sustainable Black Friday

Nov. 25, 2020, 6 a.m. • Giada Nizzoli

How to Have a Green, Sustainable Black Friday

If you were looking for ways to have a sustainable Black Friday, deep down you must already know the truth: Black Friday is NOT sustainable. 

While the prices might go down, the environmental cost of this trend doesn’t get any cheaper.

How does Black Friday affect the environment?

A typical Black Friday deal

There are two main ways in which Black Friday affects the environment negatively: waste and carbon emissions.

Because these time-bound discounts create an alarming sense of urgency (#FOMO), most consumers end up purchasing something that they don’t really need.

Why? ‘Just in case.’

After all, the discount will disappear in a few days.

This obviously leads to tonnes of waste, especially when it comes to fast fashion garments purchased on a whim.

Plus, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping generates around 429,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

How to have a more ethical & sustainable Black Friday

If you want to have a more sustainable Black Friday, embrace the mindset shift that leads to its ethical cousin: Green Friday.

1. Don’t shame brands that don’t do Black Friday

Just like with free deliveries, we’re so used to a particular perk being available through the largest retailers that we don’t realise that… not everyone can afford to offer it. 

Sure, when you pay your garment workers peanuts and don’t care about investing in environmentally friendly practices it’s super easy to introduce new discounts. 

However, when you want to ensure that everyone gets paid fair wages and that your products are created in the best way possible for the planet, not so much.

Don’t be annoyed at sustainable brands that can’t afford to do Black Friday discounts! 

If anything, ask yourself what costs other companies are cutting in order to sell such ridiculously cheap products.

2. Consider more sustainable Black Friday ideas

Woman holding a Green Friday sign for a more sustainable Black Friday initiative

Have a look around because some sustainable brands do other things on that day. 

For example, some of the Green Friday initiatives that we’ve seen over the past few years are:

  • Closing the store to make a statement and support #BuyNothingDay
  • Leaving it open just to encourage charity donations towards ethical and environmentally friendly initiatives
  • Donating a percentage of their Black Friday sales to these organisations
  • Allowing you to pay as much as you like.

3. Figure out what you need first

Maybe you were waiting for Black Friday not because you want to unleash your secret consumerist demon but because you could genuinely do with a bit of a discount?

Don’t worry: that’s totally fair!

However, do it sustainably and consciously.

To avoid being tempted by all those deals, we recommend having a good think as to what you actually need before you start browsing.

Why not write it down on a two-column sheet, one for yourself and one for your Christmas shopping?

Either way, be specific. Don’t think ‘I need new clothes.’

What exactly is your beautiful wardrobe lacking? A cardigan? A short dress? A pair of gloves? Focus on that only!

4. Think long-term

Ask the ultimate question: can you see yourself using or wearing a specific item for years or is it just a temporary trend?

5. Buy from sustainable brands

Cape infinity tulip

You could find something that you’re planning on using for years but, if it was made with plastic-derived fabrics by underpaid workers, it still won’t be ethical. 

If you want to have a sustainable Black Friday, we recommend supporting companies that pair fair wages and take both ethical and environmental practices into account.

When it comes to fashion, you can find over 200 of these brands on Project Cece.

Be green and join us in having a sustainable Black Friday, this year!

Related articles:

Project Cece is a platform that collects ethical clothing from different webshops on one website. Take a look in our shopping section and find the clothing that fits your style, budget and values!

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