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Black Friday Alternatives

Black Friday Alternatives

Black Friday consumerism has consequences for our environment. Why not consider more mindful consumption and travel habits this holiday season?

By: Mary Deasy

While the thrill of chasing bargains during Black Friday may be tempting, but buying doesn’t just cost money – it comes with environmental and even ethical costs as well; therefore,  choosing mindful consumerism is key. It is still the largest consumer day of the year with companies continuing to lower prices, morphing Black Friday into Black November.

Some companies are starting to be more mindful of their products’ impact by addressing environmental concerns such as waste, poor supply chains, and pollution. Many companies are even participating in Green Friday (also referred to as anti-Black-Friday) instead of Black Friday. This movement encourages consumers to purchase only from sustainable brands or refrain from buying anything at all.

♻️Making and recycling

Dutch outdoor apparel brand Bever organises repair events to show consumers that there are alternatives to replacing their used clothing and objects with new items.

Globally MAKE SMTHNG Week is taking place this week (November 23 – December 2) to inspire people to #MakeSmthng instead of buying something. This movement was created by Greenpeace and is being held in 38 countries with hundreds of online and offline events. Different organisations, countries and companies are participating in this movement in different ways.The principle remains the same: raising awareness on the impact of mass consumerism. When choosing where to put your money this year, consider that every year, the textile industry throws away 4 million tonnes of clothing while selling over 5 million in Europe alone. Consumerism is inevitable but choosing to participate in Green Friday is a choice – as a consumer you have the power to consume mindfully. Shop local, sustainable, or used – rent, reuse and make!

🤝Sharing and renting

If you are looking to have an outdoor experience this year, check out these companies offering rentable items.

Library of Things in the UK allows you to rent out what you have at an affordable price to someone who may need it. Their company is built off the idea of sharing what you have, effectively reducing clutter while bringing people together and being kinder to the planet. 

Peerby in the Netherlands similarly allows you to find equipment (camping or otherwise) nearby to rent.

🛒Mindful shopping

 If you are looking for holiday gifts, then consider shopping from companies participating in Green Friday or small local businesses that are commonly negatively impacted by Black Friday. Some examples of small sustainable companies are Makers Unite who support newcomers with access to the job market by designing and producing sustainable products. Got Bag is another incredible company clearing plastic from the Indonesian coastline and reusing it in backpacks. Since many smaller businesses can’t afford to lower prices, we understand that shopping at them may not be feasible for everyone. If this is the case for you,  consider thrifting on Vinted or shopping at Camping Recycled.

Green Friday was established to bring awareness to the impact of mass consumption on our planet. Regardless of the time of the year, implementing more mindful shopping and travel habits is worth the effort . When doing this, remember to consider the supply chain, the product’s footprint, and your reason for the purchase. Consider consuming less while supporting local economies and environmentally and ethically conscious companies. Your personal choices make an impact and together, our choices can make a change. 

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