While it can be easy to get caught up in the appeal of saving money and stocking up on holiday gifts, we must all recognise that Black Friday has a significant impact on the environment. From the production to the distribution, most big businesses don’t uplift sustainable processes when it comes to this time of year. That’s why many smaller, eco-friendly companies are choosing to forgo Black Friday for Green Friday. This eco-conscious alternative to Black Friday is about reducing, refusing, and giving back to those who genuinely deserve it. Learn how you can use your buying power for good with Green Friday shopping this holiday season. 

Shop Small

Small businesses often operate on a local and more sustainable scale, choosing quality over quantity. Still, we don’t need to tell you that small businesses can’t always offer the same deals or services as big corporations. Even the most successful small businesses suffer when customers are lured away by the promise of big discounts. Not to mention that many of the ‘deals’ big businesses offer aren’t so genuine.

Before you hand over your hard-earned cash to another big brand, think about the small business you love and how much more they could benefit from your purchase. Giving your money to smaller businesses is also about investing in your neighbourhood or city. Supporting local and small businesses then is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Opt for Transparency

No one likes to hear that children made their clothes in sweatshops, but the truth behind many low, low prices is just that. This holiday season, choose to support companies that are transparent about their production practices and uphold ethical and fair trade values. You can even go one step further by choosing to support companies and brands that have charitable programs in place. Sustainable British brand Lucy & Yak began donating a part of the proceeds from their Black Friday sales to a charity last year and will continue to do so this year. Initiatives like this are an excellent way for brands to give back and help those in need.

Here are some resources to find out about all kinds of brands’ production practices:

Choose Second Hand

Hand-me-downs and previously loved items have never been so taboo as in recent decades. With consumption having reached an all-time high, it seems that people have forgotten the old ways of making due with what we had at home and shopping second hand. Fortunately, things are changing, and many people are seeing the benefit, both financially and economically, of shopping second hand.

As a matter of fact, The L.A. Times said that this holiday season will be all about second-hand shopping at charity shops and vintage stores. Plenty of people are rejoicing in this sustainable and green shopping alternative as it provides lower prices and often better quality items. With all the things that already exist in the world, it seems a waste not to give uncovered treasures a second chance at life.

Buy Less

The pressure to purchase lots of gifts for the holidays is very tangible. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous. Marketing schemes and strategies have convinced us that we can only show our love with a price tag and brand new gift wrap. Deep down inside we know that this can’t be true. So, deciding to buy less and make more of our gifts is a more eco-friendly way to celebrate the season.

After all, nothing says you care as much as a gift that shows the time, effort, and thought you put into crafting something for those closest to you. Decide to support Green Friday by not shopping the Black Friday deals and  staying home to craft cards, toys, cosmetics, or whatever you’d like to give to your loved ones. Let your creativity reign free and help you put together a gift that is both honest and from the heart.

The Takeaway

Although sometimes we feel small, we should remember that the choices we make with our money can have a huge impact. Supporting small and responsible businesses, as well as, giving preference to second hand or handmade gifts means saying no to waste, excess, and exploitative business models. You can even take more charge of your conscious gift-giving this season by learning how to craft handmade gifts at home.

Sign up for WapoBeauty’s Making Natural Skincare Christmas Gifts workshop this coming weekend in Dublin. There’s only one spot left in the workshop, so you’d better hurry! Not only will you learn how to make a lovely array of handmade gifts, but you’ll be supporting a local business and enjoying a cozy morning at the same time. 

 

ABOUT OUR BLOGGER:

Ashuni Pérez is an American writer based in Valencia, Spain. She has a passion for natural beauty and the environment. Ashuni loves to cycle and drink smoothies in the sun. Follow her on Instagram at @ashuuuuni