Black Friday – Is it sustainable?

On November 24th, it’s that time again and many products will be offered with attractive discounts both online and offline.

Is it sustainable?

This of course makes it difficult to look away, but unfortunately often leads to impulsive purchases. Products end up in the shopping cart quickly, which are actually not needed and then end up in the trash or are returned shortly thereafter, resulting in large amounts of waste and unnecessary CO2 emissions.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop on Black Friday anymore. However, we would like to encourage you to make your Black Friday more sustainable.

Black Friday. What is it exactly?

There are different legends about the origin of the name. In the USA, Black Friday follows one of the most important local holidays – Thanksgiving. This always takes place on Thursday and many employees take off on the following Friday to enjoy an extended family weekend. This offers the opportunity for the first extensive Christmas shopping. Since 2005, the Thanksgiving weekend has been the busiest sales period of the year in the USA. One myth suggests that the name Black Friday comes from the fact that on this day, merchants’ hands turned black from counting money. Another refers to the many people who formed a huge black mass on the streets. However, it could also be that the name comes from the fact that on this day, companies had the opportunity to move from the red into the black due to the high sales. Perhaps there is a little truth in everything, the fact is that on this day, sales in the retail sector worldwide rise rapidly. The reason for this is the drastic discounts that attract customers to (online) stores.

Doesn’t that lead to overconsumption?

You could say that the attractive discounts quickly lead to impulsive purchases that we might not have made for the normal price. We buy things we may not even need and then perhaps even throw them away in the end, which wastes resources and unfortunately places a heavy burden on the environment. And yet we all know that we only have this one earth.

Do you just want to see what’s out there? Don’t lose your head!

We don’t want to tell you that you shouldn’t give yourself and your loved ones pleasure. But we do want to encourage a moment of mindfulness and reflection.

* First, ask yourself if you really need this product or if it’s just interesting because it’s 50% off. At home, people often realise that the new acquisition is only good as a dust collector and send it back. By knowing before you buy whether the purchase will add value to your life, you can avoid bad purchases and environmentally damaging returns.
* You can create your wish list before Black Friday. A good tip: every time you think of one of your desired products in a situation, leave a mark on your shopping list for this product. Desired products with many dashes would clearly be a game changer for you. Products with only 2 lines are not necessarily so.
* Next, see if you can find your desired product at small and/or sustainable companies. Instead of promoting fast fashion, for example, you can now fall back on so many small sustainable labels, which not only supports a dream, but you will also enjoy it longer than a fast-moving it-piece from a big fashion brand. #supportsmallbusiness
* Compare offers and prices in advance to avoid falling into the trap of artificially inflated discounts. It happens that retailers calculate the offered discounts on the basis of the recommended retail price and the supposed bargain is actually not that cheap.
* Also look at the different suppliers. Some online retailers use environmentally friendly packaging and offer environmentally friendly shipping by offsetting CO₂, use electric vehicles or even cargo bikes.
* Buy local. Retailers also offer Black Friday deals and so you can save not only on shipping costs, but also on materials and transport. #supportyourlocals
* Basically, it’s also worth thinking if you might be able to borrow, buy second-hand or swap before you treat yourself to something new. Has something broken? Try repairing it. You can find repair instructions online for most everyday things.

Look at that, you can actually make a difference. And if you want to practice a little consumer protest, why not make a Social Green Friday? Grab your loved ones and spend time with them outside in the fresh air, maybe a hike, maybe take advantage of the stormy autumn and fly a kite. It’ll give you at least as big a happiness boost as a shopping trip!

Apropos #supportsmallbusiness

We will not offer any additional discounts for Black Friday. But as a small and sustainable company we would be very happy if you would stop by our store during your shopping tour and support us with your purchase. Not only are our vegan matabooks made from resource-saving grass paper sustainable, they are also not packaged and we ship plastic-free (unless we reuse plastic packaging from other suppliers).