It’s that time of year again. What started as one day of sales after Thanksgiving- Black Friday has grown legs and sprung from the US to become a week long global shopping frenzy – Cyber Week. The perfect opportunity for the organised among us to bag those Christmas gift bargains. But at what cost?

The rise in consumerism is more apparent than ever and with in app purchasing developments from Instagram and others it’s never been easier to buy from the tiny computer in your hands. So what is the dark side of Black Friday? 

The huge increase we see in sales during this period not only leads to unused and unwanted purchases but the environmental consequences are shocking. Finder.com estimate in the UK alone £7 billion will be spent on Black Friday. As a consequence the mass increase of delivery vehicles on the road combined with increased waste levels and production pollution lead to a huge spike in carbon emissions during this time. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, there are superheroes out there who are paving the way for Black Friday to become a beacon for good. Does this mean there’s a new kid on the block? Green Friday? We like the sound of her. 💚

So who are the Green Friday champions? 

Patagonia – the shining stars of ethical consumerism. We’ve seen this champion brand forge ahead with Black Friday initiatives for years. Their WornWear program encouraged customers to repair and reuse Patagonia items they already owned. 

This year they are encouraging customers to ‘consider giving to our home planet in the name of someone you love’ through Patagonia Action Works . But that’s not it, they will match any donations made by the end of 2019. 

Patagonia

RÆBURN – UK fashion designer Christopher Raeburn is following suit. In an attempt to counteract the effects of Black Friday, RAEBURN have launched a ‘BUY NOTHING, REPAIR SOMETHING’ campaign, which will see all stores and ecommerce section of the website closed for Black Friday. Instead of driving sales, doors will be open to the RAEBURN Lab where visitors can bring garments from any brand to be altered and repaired free of charge. 

There will also be a number of events hosted by RAEBURN including ‘Off-Cut Animal Workshops’ which will teach visitors a new skill by sewing their own animal mascots using off-cuts from the studio with all proceeds going to WWF 

Raeburn

Next up REI–  Doing things a little differently outdoor clothing brand REI will be closing their doors this Black Friday but encouraging employees and customers to get outdoors and enjoy nature for the day. Not only that, REI is also asking the 13,000 employees and 18 million co-op members to join one of its organised clean-up efforts to focus on individual accountability with their campaign ‘Opt to Act’

Opt to Act

And one of our very own tribe – our brilliant clients GoApe are mixing things up this Christmas period. The outdoor adventure and experience brand are encouraging people to say ‘Stuff it to stuff!’ and instead give the gift of experience and memories as an alternative to physical items. 

This shift in brands paving the way has seen an increase in value-led shopping with millennials in particular demanding new ways to shop sustainably. So is Green Friday here to stay? We certainly hope so 🤞