Sustainable Shopping on Black Friday

Sustainable Shopping on Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a controversial topic. Many brands, big and small, feel compelled to offer hefty discounts. Big brands slash prices giving consumers deep discounts, encouraging people to buy more than they need resulting in immense amounts of waste. While many small businesses don't do Black Friday at all, and for good reason.

Even shopping the sales has become divisive. But it's important not to shame the people who shop Black Friday sales, or the small businesses that take part. Not everyone can afford to buy certain items full price, particularly the big tickets ones. Black Friday is an opportunity to shop for these items at a more affordable price.

If you want to take advantage of the sales, this is how you can shop Black Friday sustainably and be a more eco-friendly gift giver.

Shop Online

Shopping online is often better for the environment than shopping in-store. One van delivering to multiple households replaces the need for several car trips by multiple individuals, helping to reduce emissions. Although there are ways you can make shopping online even more sustainable and less wasteful. Try to keep orders to a minimum, group deliveries together rather than having them arrive separately, and request minimal packaging at checkout. Wherever you can, opt for a slower delivery too so remember to shop early if you need something by a specific date.

Avoid Impulse Purchases

The worse thing you can do during Black Friday is browse the sales without any need to. Unless there is something specific you are looking for, don't window shop as you'll be tempted to buy whatever seems like a "good deal." Figure out what you need, or if you need anything at all, before shopping the Black Friday sales. This is where a wishlist comes in handy, so if you don't have one - make one! Browse only for these items and remember to price check to make sure you're actually getting a bargain.

Sustainable Shopping on Black Friday

Support Small Businesses

Many small businesses don't do Black Friday sales; the best way to support small businesses is to buy from them regardless. When you choose to shop small and buy handmade from local independent shops, your money goes towards supporting the local economy, building community, and boosting local employment. As well as keeping your favourite designer-makers in business! For ideas on where to shop, browse the Small Business Directory and Birmingham Independent Gift Guide. I've also shared some of my favourite makers too.

Buy From Sustainable Brands

The generous discounts available on Black Friday can make shopping from sustainable brands much more affordable. If you're looking for gifts, Black Friday is a good opportunity to buy those items that would otherwise be out of your budget. So if there is an item of clothing or product you have on your wishlist, or you know a loved one wants it as a gift; Black Friday may make these items more accessible. It's worth checking in with your favourite sustainable brands to see what discounts they're offering.

Avoid Returns

The environmental impact of returned items is huge. When you return an unwanted order, it rarely makes it back onto the shop floor and instead gets destroyed or sent to landfill Even when these items are in like-new condition. 5 billion pounds of waste is generated through returns so it's really important to avoid making them. That means making better purchases, for ourselves and others; only purchasing items we need, and buying gifts we know people want.

If you don't need anything, don't buy anything. It's only a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway, and if you wouldn't buy it full price you probably don't need it at all. Take part in a green initiative instead, like Buy Nothing Day.

Consider ways you can reduce waste, make plastic-free swaps, and adopt eco-friendly habits instead of shopping online.

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Sustainable Shopping on Black Friday Sustainable Shopping on Black Friday