Black Friday has crept upon us again – the annual sales that bring huge reductions on almost anything that you can think of, but whilst this might be good for your bank balance, it’s not so good for the planet.
Some organisations and businesses are now deciding to boycott black Friday, over concerns for its negative effect on our planet. Many small retailers are opting out of Black Friday deals to help protect the environment, and are instead focusing on sharing a message of conscious consumerism and sustainable shopping – and we are one of them.
Black Friday is a tradition that started in the USA but that was brought over to our shores by online retail giant Amazon in 2010, and that has been slowly gathering momentum ever since.
Now far much more than just one day, Black Friday’s deals span across weeks of slashed prices, encouraging excessive consumer behavior in the lead up to Christmas. This frenzy of buying buying buying has a negative impact on the planet in several different ways.
With the current pandemic seeing shops across the world being forced to close, more than ever people are turning to online retailers for their bargains, and with that comes a lot of unnecessary packaging waste. Companies like Amazon are being slated for their overuse of paper, plastic, and cardboard packaging, which even when recycled, still has an impact on the planet. There will be more delivery vans on the road, more packaging being used, all of which negatively impacts our planet.
Many people use Black Friday as an excuse to impulse buy – purchasing new items, especially electrical goods, due to their cheap prices, in order to replace their old existing ones.
These old electrical items such as TV’s and kettles, will, in many cases, go straight to landfill, polluting our soils and oceans with their debris. Many clothes bought on black Friday will have an incredibly short lifespan, some being worn once, or not at all, before they end up in the bin. We buy because we are tempted by cheap prices and shiny advertising, however most don’t really need what they end up purchasing on black Friday.
Many fashion brands even overproduce stock, just so that they can slash prices on it to increase demand. This feeds the consumers appetite for bargains,
However, over the past few years, organisations such as Greenpeace, and retailers and businesses have ceased their deals in favour of a more sustainable approach. Making conscious decisions as a consumer this Friday can help you to also take a more sustainable approach. Things like writing a list before you shop to asses what you actually need will be useful in combatting impulse buying, supporting small businesses instead of chains can help with avoiding buying into big chains who have highly un-sustainable business practices, and trying to order all items from one place to reduce shipment and packaging, are all things that you as a consumer can do to help limit the environmental impact of your black Friday splurge.
If you’re shopping for Christmas presents, a thing to also consider this festive season is how you wrap your presents. Wrapping and Christmas packaging causes billions of tones of waste each year, and we are trying to help change that. At Bags of Ethics we have developed our Great British Designer Wrapping Bags, which feature prints by designers PREEN by Thornton Bregazzi, and Giles Deacon, and come in sets of 3 to accommodate a variety of sizes of gifts. These reusable gift pouches are made ethically and sustainably and are made to be reused and loved, again and again, as part of a sustainable way of life.
Check them out HERE