Black Friday is the worst expression of the consumerism that damages our planet and drains natural resources. Don't get sucked in by bogus bargains.
At City to Sea, we believe in buying less and shopping second-hand wherever we can.
Each year, we make a note of Earth Overshoot Day – this is the day when the world's population starts to consume more resources than our planet can regenerate in a year. In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day was on the 29th July – less than two thirds of the way through the year. This date is getting earlier every year, making it crucial to break the world's shopping habit as soon as possible.
If it looks too good to be true – it probably is
Black Friday bargains can look very tempting – but they're not always as good as they seem. Often, big retailers use poor quality materials specifically for Black Friday.
If you really have to buy new goods, always try to find reusable, good-quality, long-lasting products that meet your requirements exactly. Black Friday is the opposite of this! It encourages rampant consumerism, based on our love of bargains. Ignore the hype and buy only what you need.
Making better choices
Black Friday has huge negative impacts on the environment, as well as on local economies and our wellbeing as individuals.
If you can't resist buying something over the weekend, why not visit your local charity shops – you really will find bargains there. If you prefer shopping online, try second-hand or swapping sites like Facebook Marketplace or local community groups. Visit Depop for creative fashions or look into smaller, ethical businesses, like the ones featured on our website. Unlike Ebay, Amazon and Apple, these organisations are also more likely to be paying their fair share of tax.
Instead of splurging on so-called bargains, you could support craftspeople and artisans, small ethical businesses and brands that deserve to be valued. Talented, dedicated people who are trying to create beautiful, unique products using renewable resources.
There are many smaller brands and initiatives (such as repair and reuse projects) that deserve to be valued. Like clothing brand Patagonia – on Black Friday 2016, Patagonia donated 100% of sales* to organisations working to create positive change. Or REI, who are organising #OptOutside clean-up events across the US for Black Friday 2019.
Best of all, buy nothing. Look out for the hashtag #BuyNothingDay, which is used by businesses and organisations that are avoiding Black Friday, including fashion and footwear brands such as Pachacuti, Elvis & Kresse, Raeburn, allbirds, Everlane, Veja and Ecoalf.
*100% of purchases made in Patagonia® stores and online at patagonia.com and patagoniaprovisions.com